Report of the International Whaling Commission (1994)


Gillnet and trap fisheries of the Northwest Atlantic and their potential for cetacean entanglement are reviewed. Ten major categories of passive fisheries are identified, five of which are known to take substantial numbers of cetaceans during the course of their operations: Atlantic Canada and Gulf of Maine groundfish gillnets; Atlantic Canada cod traps; Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine herring weirs; Atlantic Canada and Greenland salmon gillnets; and US east coast swordfish driftnets. The cetacean species most threatened by incidental mortality in commercial fisheries in this region are the harbour porpoise, Phocoena phocoena, which is taken in large numbers and the endangered northern right whale, Eubalaena glacialis.