Center for Coastal Studies Team Frees Entangled Humpback

The Center for Coastal Studies Marine Animal Entanglement Response team frees a young humpback whale Monday off Chatham. Courtesy of the Center for Coastal Studies.

PROVINCETOWN – The Center for Coastal Studies Marine Animal Entanglement Response team freed a humpback whale Monday off the coast of Chatham.

The young whale was swimming in a group of about 50 whales and had a black rope stretched tight across its back.

A crew was able to cut the rope using a knife at the end of a 30-foot pole and it is hoped the whale will be able to shed the remaining rope.

The whale was in relatively poor condition and likely had been entangled for some time.

The whale was discovered by a Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary team, which was conducting a whale tagging study off Cape Cod. The team volunteered to stand by the whale until the CCS team could arrive. The response team was conducting a research cruise in the area and responded quickly.

It took the MAER Team about two hours to cut a rope.

Using natural markings for identification, the whale will be monitored over time for any signs of change in its health or entanglement configuration.

Boaters are asked to report entangled whales, sea-turtles or sharks by calling the MAER team at 800.900.3622, or contact the Coast Guard on VHF 16. Boaters are also asked to stand by the animal at a safe distance until trained responders arrive.

A video of the team working to free the whale can be viewed in the player below.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.
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