Whale Freed by Provincetown Team After Days-Long Entanglement

Respondents from the Center for Coastal Studies work to disentangle the young humpback whale. CCS image, NOAA permit #18786.

PROVINCETOWN – A 30-foot unidentified whale was freed from entanglement in fishing lines outside of Boston Monday after being stuck for a few days.

The Center for Coastal Studies’ Marine Animal Entanglement Response team found a hole in the inclement weather to cut the whale free from ropes which held it by the tail.

Officials said the effort was in cooperation with local fishermen and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The creature was discovered on Tuesday by fishermen but sea conditions were too rough for the Lower Cape team to respond.

From an inflatable dingy, the team was able to use a hook-shaped knife to the line. They stayed with the whale for two hours as it slowly made its way North, outside of Boston shipping lanes.

The Center is working to identify what type of whale it was and hopes it will be seen at a later date.

Its prognosis is much better now, but the whale’s path to recovery will be long, according to the Center.

Boaters are urged to report entanglements of whales, sea turtles and other marine animals to the team, at (800) 900-3622 or the U.S. Coast Guard VHF 16.

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