Entanglement. That’s a big word. It’s also a big job to rescue animals from the sea that are entangled.
|A whale entangled in fishing net|
Entanglement means that a whale, a dolphin or any other kind of sea life has been caught and is tangled in old fishing lines, fish nets, ropes, and plastic trash floating in the oceans. Most entangled mammals die if entangled because they need to surface for air. If their fins, flippers or tails are wrapped up in old fish nets, the mammal weakens and finds it hard to swim, dive, swim, dive—how many mammals eat and breathe.
|A sea lion with a plastic bag around its neck|
Sometimes seals and dolphins swim through plastic that is used to wrap boxes. The plastic ring gets caught around their necks. As the animal grows, the plastic ring digs deeper and deeper into their neck. Many die from choking.
There are people around the world who work to save marine mammals that are entangled.
What can you do to help entangled marine mammals?
- Learn more about marine mammals. Many Cub Scouts, Brownies, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts clubs offer marine mammal badges.
- Recycle plastics. Better yet, reduce plastic use.
- Say no to plastic bags. Bring your own reusable bag for shopping.
- Volunteer with your family, friends, club or church group to clean up creeks, rivers or beaches where you live.
- If you see a seal, dolphin or other marine life on the beach, ask an adult to call for help. Be sure to not touch the animal. Keep dogs away from the animal.