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Ocean heatwave caused record number of whale entanglements
Climate change-induced ocean warming was partly responsible for record numbers of whale entanglements in US fishing nets during 2015 and 2016, according to a new study. Researchers investigating the 2014-2016 northeast Pacific marine heatwave found that food scarcity led the mammals to forage closer to the shore, where they became entangled in crab fishing nets. The researchers have called for new measures to alert fishermen and fishery managers to the likelihood of entanglement, and are also developing a website that will forecast areas off the US west coast where whales are most likely to feed.