Cape-Based Crew Frees Entangled Large Fin Whale Near Boston 

PHOTO COURTESY: Center for Coastal Studies. Responders used a thrown grappling-hook to attach a working line and buoy to the entanglement. CCS image taken under NOAA permit #18786

PHOTO COURTESY: Center for Coastal Studies. Responders used a thrown grappling-hook to attach a working line and buoy to the entanglement. CCS image taken under NOAA permit #18786

BOSTON – Crews from the Provincetown based Center for Coastal Studies disentangled a nearly 60-foot-long fin whale Wednesday that was spotted swimming with fishing rope and buoys lodged in its mouth east of Boston.

A tuna spotter pilot saw it on Stellwagen Bank.

The pilot alerted the Center for Coastal Studies and stayed with the animal until the Marine Animal Entanglement Response team arrived.

Responders threw a grappling hook overboard and a buoy to help dislodge the entanglement.

When the whale dove, it dragged the buoy with it, which allowed the hook with 60 feet of line to cut through the large loop of fishing ropes. The team then repeated the process.

Recreational boaters had first spotted the entangled whale on Saturday.

The individual whale was last seen by the researchers in October 2015.

Mariners are urged to report any entanglement sightings of whales, sea turtles and other marine animals immediately to the Entanglement Response Hotline at 800-900-3622, and stand by the animal at a safe distance until trained responders arrive.

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