NOAA Lifts Ban on Most Whale Entanglement Responses

PROVINCETOWN – NOAA has lifted the moratorium on most whale disentanglement efforts in U.S. waters, but responders will still not be allowed to try to free trapped right whales for the foreseeable future.

This comes in the wake of the death of a Canadian responder, Joe Howlett, who was killed while disentangling a right whale in the Gulf of St. Lawrence off New Brunswick.

NOAA initially banned all whale responses while safety policies were reviewed, and has since lifted the suspension for all species except right whales.

The Provincetown-based Center for Coastal Studies urges mariners to report all entanglements to their emergency hotline at 800-900-3622, or to the Coast Guard on Channel 16.

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