Whale Safe ID Guide (3rd Ed)
With the increasing focus on fisheries interactions with protected species, broader ecosystem considerations and increasing whale populations, the third edition of the WhaleSafe Identification Guide provides a timely resource for vessel operators to ensure they are employing best practises on the water.
In addition to information on identifying marine mammals, their migratory patterns and general practises that operators can employ to avoid or substantially reduce the potential for interactions, this edition highlights OceanSnap, a resource designed to enhance reporting and thereby better inform operational practises. Developed by the NZ RLIC, OceanSnap is available as both an Android smartphone app and website to enable operators to record and report sightings and entanglement events around New Zealand in an efficient and timely process.
If you haven’t already downloaded the application from the Google Play Store, or registered as a user on the website at www.oceansnap.co.nz, it is highly recommended that you do so, and familiarise yourself with the features and how to use them. A summary of OceanSnap can be found on page 34 of the WhaleSafe manual, and step-by-step instructions on recording and reporting on either the application or website are outlined on the back of the Entanglement Response Data Form.
While entanglement events remain rare, and do not pose a threat to cetacean populations, the industry remains committed to initiatives that promote and ensure best practises. The WhaleSafe manual and OceanSnap highlight the rock lobster industry’s commitment and investment in proactive measures to avoid and mitigate interactions with marine mammals and other vulnerable species. Additional WhaleSafe manuals and Entanglement Response Data Forms are available upon request.