The interaction of whales with fishing gear fluctuates over the years, but recently has been on the rise statewide. NOAA has created a new set of best practices for response to entanglement events and protocols for disentanglement. Santa Barbara fishermen recently attended a 2-day training event to learn these new practices and protocols and continue to work with managers to find ways to reduce interactions with whales.
Update October 24 2016: California Dungeness Crab Fishing Gear Working Group released a memo with 2016-17 recommendations and next steps to reduce the risk of whale entanglements in Dungeness crab fishing gear. You can download the document here.
Update October 18 2016: NOAA has released an updated Best Practices Guide from the Dungeness Crab working group on whale entanglement. The main change is the direct recommendation regarding length of line for trailer buoys. Note that not all trap fishermen use trailer buoys (e.g., lobster). You can download the document here.