Fellows in the News

One of the tough realities of commercial fishing is that fishermen and seals sometimes compete for the same fish. And when they do, interactions between the animals and fishing nets can occur, leaving fishermen with ruined catches and damaged fishing gear, and seals with the possibility of lethal entanglements.

To come up with new ways to prevent such interactions between marine animals and fisheries, ocean scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS) are working with local fishermen on Cape Cod to understand exactly what happens when seals and other marine mammals invade a fishing net to forage.

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“With the successful rebound of marine mammal populations in New England—seals in particular—fishery interactions and resulting frustrations build," said Andrea Bogomolni, a faculty member of Shoals Marine Laboratory who previously studied marine mammal and ocean health science at WHOI. "We’ve worked with our commercial fishing partners to ask questions and design experiments together, relying on each of our unique areas of expertise to address these interactions."

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