A new report from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) finds that almost 9 out of 10 toothed whales, including dolphins and porpoises, are threatened by entanglement and subsequent drowning from large-scale fishing operations equipment, such as gillnets, traps, longlines, and trawls. These operations threaten the highest percentage (86 percent) of the world's toothed whales.
"During the International Year of Biodiversity, the Convention on Migratory Species continues to address major threats such as by-catch, ship strikes, ocean noise impacts and climate change to safeguard these charismatic marine mammals," said UNEP and the Convention on Migratory Species Executive Secretary Elizabeth Mrema.
Lack of food and changes in diets due to overfishing by humans currently threatens 13 species, while 14 species are threatened by collisions with ships. The ingestion of plastic and other pollutants have been reported in a total of 48 species (nearly 70 percent).
Currently six species are considered on the edge of extinction. The most threatened is the vaquita with only 100-150 individuals left in the Bay of California. The baiji, once abundant in the Yangtze River, is considered extinct.
Continue the ban on whaling, and include dolphins and porpoises.
The International Whaling Commission
The Red House,
135 Station Road,
Cambridgeshire CB24 9NP, UK
Tel: 44 (0) 1223 233 971
Fax: 44 (0) 1223 232 876
Dr. Simon Brockington