The humpback whale bounced back from the brink of extinction and appeared in large numbers of the coast of California in 2015 and 2016. However, their return to the coast was not a pleasant stay. Many of the whales ended up being entangled by crab lines, and climate change is to blame.
According to a new report, due to an unprecedented marine heatwave, nicknamed “the blob,” altered the ocean’s temperature. To put it simply, deep nutrient waters would rise to the top. This forces fish and other sea creatures to clump up into a narrow area along the coastline.
As a result, anchovies, the food which the whales hunt, would be located here. Thus, whales also ended up in this small “blob.”
However, the problem was the crab season. According to the report, there were at least 31 cases of whales entangled in crab lines during this event.
How Climate Change is Involved
The report clearly states that the heatwave was unprecedented and climate change is completely responsible for this. Our planet has become warmer in the last decade.
This is due to the steady increase in our global emissions level. Even though we have identified the problem, many nations around the world are doing too little too slowly. And in many cases, carbon emissions are actually increasing.
As a result, heat waves have become more intense and are happening more frequently. Many of these are factors in the increase in forest fires around the world.
New Technology Will Be Used
As the problem became more widespread, the fishermen sought help to solve the problem. Thus, they turned to scientists.
Armed with more scientific information, the number of entanglements have dropped. On top of this, they are compiling information to create a website that will show the expected travel paths of whales in the region. This will allow fishermen to make sure that their nets are not in the path of whales.
As not only is this hurting the whales, it is also costing crabbers money every time they lose a crab line.