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Home* News and Stories → Again polar bear caught in fishing net

Again polar bear caught in fishing net

In July, a polar bear was seen on the north coast of Spits­ber­gen with a plastic fishing net around its neck. The bear was found again later, it could then be anesthe­ti­zed and freed from the poten­ti­al­ly dead­ly debris.

Not much later, ano­t­her polar bear, again a fema­le, was found ent­an­gled in a fishing net. In this case, the bar had a small trans­mit­ter in its ear, pla­ced the­re by sci­en­tists to track migra­ti­on move­ments. The net was ent­an­gled around the trans­mit­ter.

The bear was found in Sorgfjord by vol­un­te­ers of the governor’s beach cleanup trip. Experts of the Nor­we­gi­an Polar Insti­tu­te (NPI) were flown in by heli­co­p­ter to tran­qui­li­ze the bear, but just befo­re the NPI bio­lo­gist fired, the trans­mit­ter fell off tog­e­ther with the net and the polar bear was free of the its bur­den. The­re were no signs of inju­ry, and the bear seems to be fine.

Nor­we­gi­an fishe­ry is now facing cri­ti­cism for the amount of dan­ge­rous fishing nets and other debris found in the north Atlan­tic and shore­li­nes the­re. Fishing ves­sels are obli­ged to report loss of fishing gear at sea, and the fishe­ry aut­ho­ri­ty (Fis­ke­ri­di­rek­to­rat) has, sin­ce 1980, the respon­si­bi­li­ty to retrie­ve lost nets and other dan­ge­rous debris if pos­si­ble. Sin­ce 1980, more than 17,000 nets have been retrie­ved. The num­ber of fishing nets found on beaches in Spits­ber­gen and else­whe­re indi­ca­tes, howe­ver, that the num­bers of nets actu­al lost must be hig­her. Sin­ce 2008, dama­ged nets can be dischar­ged in Nor­we­gi­an ports free of char­ge.

This fema­le polar bear had got a trans­mit­ter in her ear by sci­en­tists, which got ent­an­gled in a hea­vy fishing net. © Chris­ti­an Nico­lai Bjør­ke.

polar bear with fishing net

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten

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last modification: 2014-08-03 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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