#18: Entanglement Update

Update on the previously mentioned entanglement case.

The telemetry buoy attachment was a success and the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS) was able to monitor the entangled whale (2003 calf of 1711) as it swam from Brunswick, Georgia to Jacksonville, Florida Wednesday night. The PCCS sent the latest know position for the whale, which was in our survey area. We launched into action, flying south to the whale's last known position at latitude 30 18N and longitude 81 00W. The winds were blowing between 10-20 knots, which made sighting conditions difficult.

The entangled whale's last known position
We were getting frustrated that we couldn't find the whale despite the fact that the affixed telemetry buoy was telling us its exact position. Our frustration was relieved when the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission aerial survey team called us on the radio to tell us they had a visual on the whale 3 nautical miles south in their survey area.

The weather was not suitable to launch a full disentanglement effort, but both research vessels, Hurricane, Orion, were launched to survey. The r/v Orion went to the 2003 Calf of Eg#1711 to get better photographs of the entanglement and assess the whale's behavior. The r/v Hurricane stayed in our survey area to test their equipment for the acoustic and tagging research later this season. The new photographs taken by r/v Orion will help experts formulate the best plan of action for disentangling the whale. Now all we need is a weather window.



1 comment:

  1. This is exciting to follow!

    Here's hoping the weather clears enough for you to try an attempt.