We humans have a few things in common with whales. Among them: curiosity, and a taste for fish. Unfortunately for whales, that commonality can get them into trouble. Thanks to their curiosity, they’ll explore and interact with things they find in the environment, including nets and other fishing gear. And whales that eat fish can become attracted to commercial fishing operations — with potentially deadly consequences.A killer whale eyes fish captured in a net along the coast of Norway. (Credit: Evert Mul)In both cases, whales can become entangled in ropes, nets and other gear. An entangled whale can have trouble finding and eating food, maneuvering in the water, and even reproducing, according to Sarah Wilkin, coordinator of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration program aimed at helping marine mammals.“For some species, such as the North Atlantic right whale, populations are so reduced that the loss of even a few individuals can have dire consequences for the…



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