Today, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) agreed to establish a dedicated bycatch mitigation initiative to address the accidental entanglement of non-target species in fishing gear. In response, WWF issued the following statement from Leigh Henry, senior policy advisor, WWF:
Bycatch is by far the greatest immediate threat to the world’s whales and dolphins – claiming a minimum of 300,000 every year. While the 70-year-old International Whaling Commission is probably most associated with the threat for which it is named, it is consistently evolving to address the twenty-first century threats faced by the world’s whales and dolphins. Today, the IWC has taken a significant step forward in securing a future for the animals it is mandated to conserve.