Whale Freed from Fishing Gear Near Chatham

CCS image taken under NOAA permit #18786

CCS image taken under NOAA permit #18786

CHATHAM – A young humpback whale was disentangled from fishing gear Friday off the coast of Chatham.

The Center for Coastal Studies’ Marine Animal Entanglement Response team received a call from a recreational boater, who stayed close to the animal until crews were able to make it on the scene about an hour later.

According to the Center, the whale was bogged down from fishing line on the ocean floor but managed to tug it’s restraints up to the surface to breathe. It was released within 20 minutes of the crew’s arrival and reportedly fled the scene quickly – a sign that it will likely survive.

Boaters are urged to report any entanglement sightings of whales, sea-turtles and other marine animals to the Marine Animal Entanglement Response Hotline (1-800-900-3622) or the US Coast Guard on VHF 16, and to stand by the animal at a safe distance until responders arrive.

The Center’s Humpback Whale Studies team will attempt to identify this individual for follow up.

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