Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project

A unique collaboration between commercial fishermen, scientists, and fisheries managers

Sperm whales have learned to take sablefish off commercial fishing gear in the Gulf of Alaska. This behavior is known as depredation and is risky for whales and fishermen and results in economic loss in catch. Fishermen approached scientists regarding these interactions and SEASWAP was formed in 2003. The goal of SEASWAP is to understand the complex relationship between sperm whales and fishermen and to recommend strategies to reduce these interactions.

All research is conducted under NOAA Permit Number 18529, issued to Jan Straley