TableĀ 1.

Summary of factors complicating and compromising analyses of marine entanglement (taken and adapted from Laist, D.W. 1996, p. 106). (Entanglement records are biased towards shoreline surveys. They may remain unpublished and/or be anecdotal in character: local and regional, as well as geographic and temporal comparisons will be difficult to evaluate.)

detection and discoverysampling and reporting biases
entanglements are isolated events scattered over wide areaslimited at-sea sampling and few long-term surveys
entangling debris often difficult to identify on active animals at sea; readily recognized when strandedinconsistent sampling methodologies; strandings are an unknown portion of local and regional entanglements
dead animals difficult to see if floating just below sea surface and if concealed within matted debris massshore counts of live entangled animals are biased towards survivors sporting minor amounts of debris
entangled dead animals may disappear from view quickly through sinking and/or predationsome entanglements may involve interactions with active rather than derelict fishing gear