Entanglement in #fishing #gear, known as #bycatch, represents the biggest human-caused threat to #dolphins and #porpoise, including this #Dall's porpoise in #Canada's #Pacific #Ocean. We are working to find #noninvasive #solutions to the bycatch problem. But Dall's porpoise typically live far offshore, and testing new #technology can be a logistical challenge. Last year, we led a low-tech with @newenglandaquarium to see whether Dall's porpoise avoid a benign signal produced by a "pinger." You know the beeping sound that trucks make when they back up? You can put one of those beepers in a waterproof housing, and attach them to a fishing net to try to keep marine mammals away from your gear. Pingers work very well to reduce bycatch of harbour porpoise. We're testing whether they work as well on their offshore cousins, Dall's porpoise.
This isn't the sharpest photo we've ever taken. (Check out @aprilbencze 's feed for a great shot of this species.) They are the fastest of all the small cetaceans, and can reach speeds of 55 km/h. We like the fact that this shot focuses on the water moving over the #animal's head. They're challenging to study, which makes every day in the field an #adventure. Now, we're doing the less romantic part of our #science, namely analyzing all of the hard-won data we collected in the field.
Thanks, as always, for supporting our #conservation work.