Rescue Teams Disentangle Whale Off Cape Cod

Responders attach floats to the entanglement to slow the whale and keep it at the surface. Credit: CCS image taken under NOAA permit #18786.

PROVINCETOWN – A rescue team from the Provincetown-based Center for Coastal Studies freed a young humpback whale from fishing gear east of Cape Cod on Tuesday.

Crews say the animal had likely been trapped for some time and was in poor condition due to extensive injuries, but its health is expected to improve.

“It had bitten down on a buoy line used to mark fishing gear, so it was having difficulty feeding properly,” said Scott Landry of the Marine Animal Entanglement Response team.

Officials report this whale was also disentangled in September.

The whale was first spotted by fishermen off of Monomoy Island on Saturday. Crews spent the weekend tracking the animal and waited until sea conditions were appropriate for a rescue attempt.

“The whale was understandably wary of boats,” Landry said. “This was a very young whale that had already gone through quite a bit in its life.”

The rescue team reported the whale had healed propeller injuries on its back.

Boaters are asked to report any entanglements to the Coast Guard via VHF channel 16 or by calling the Center for Coastal Studies at 1-800-900-3622.

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