Study to help prevent whale entanglements off Oregon

COOS BAY, Ore. — The Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission is supporting a multi-year study to prevent whale entanglements off the Oregon Coast.

The Coos Bay World reports that the board of the industry-funded agency approved nearly $45,000 toward the three-year $300,000 project.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute plan to gather data on whale distributions and populations.

Information collected on whale sightings will be used to identify areas and times when the risk of whale entanglements is high.

Last year, a federal report confirmed 31 whales were caught in commercial crab and other fishing gear off the coasts of Oregon, Washington, California and parts of Mexico.