Anthropogenic Impacts on the Welfare of Wild Marine Mammals
Marine mammal welfare has most frequently been a topic of discussion in reference to captive animals. However, humans have altered the marine environment in such dramatic and varied ways that the welfare of wild marine mammals is also important to consider as most current publications regarding anthropogenic impacts focus on population-level effects. While the preservation of the species is extremely important, so too are efforts to mitigate the pain and suffering of marine mammals affected by noise pollution, chemical pollution, marine debris, and ever-increasing numbers of vessels. The aim of this review is to define welfare for wild marine mammals and to discuss a number of key anthropogenic effects that are currently impacting their welfare.