#15 Update on Entangled Humpback

We have an update on the entangled humpback whale our survey team spotted on December 9, 2009 (See blog entry #4). According to the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, a whale tentatively identified to be the same individual was re-sighted by recreational boaters off the coast of Spanish Wells, Bahamas on December 26, 2009. The whale was in poor condition (i.e. covered in orange cyamids and lethargic). According to to the The Eleutheran News, an impromptu disentanglement effort was made by the boaters and they managed to free the whale from most of the gear using a gaff. Eventually a diver entered the water to cut the last of the gear free. Thankfully, no one was injured during the disentanglement. Read the entire news article here:
A Whale of a Boxing Day Story - Humpback rescued off Spanish Wells.

If you see an entangled whale on the east coast of the U.S., it is best to keep your distance and immediately report the sighting to the Coast Guard or call the disentanglement hotline: 1-800-900-3622. If possible, stand by the whale at a safe and legal distance until rescuers arrive or another boat can take your place. Oftentimes, if a boat does not stay on site, rescuers cannot relocate the animal in the same day. Please keep in mind that attempts to disentangle any marine mammal without proper training and authorization may be subject to prosecution and may result in injury to both animals and humans.

Photo Credit: New England Aquarium/Jess Taylor



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