Young Humpback Whale Freed from Fishing Gear

COURTESY OF THE CENTER FOR COASTAL STUDIES Members of the Center for Coastal Studies Marine Animal Entanglement Response Team free an entangled humpback whale Saturday afternoon in Cape Cod Bay.

COURTESY OF THE CENTER FOR COASTAL STUDIES
Members of the Center for Coastal Studies Marine Animal Entanglement Response Team free an entangled humpback whale Saturday afternoon in Cape Cod Bay.

PROVINCETOWN – A young humpack whale caught in fishing gear was freed Saturday afternoon in Cape Cod Bay.

The Center for Coastal Studies’ Marine Animal Entanglement Response Team worked for about two hours to cut the whale loose after it had been trapped in a complex entanglement with line through its mouth and around its flippers.

The fishing line was attached to gear on the sea floor which essentially anchored the mammal in place.

The whale was able to dive, but its behavior was extremely agitated suggesting it had not been tangled for very long, according to rescuers.

“At this time of year we have a lot of whales moving into the area and a lot of gear being set,” said Scott Landry, the director of the MAER program, in a press release. “The sooner we receive word of entanglements and the sooner we can help, the better.”

Recreational boaters off Wood End in Provincetown reported the entanglement to the US Coast Guard.

Mariners are urged to report entanglements or whales, sea turtles and other marine animals to the Marine Animal Response Hotline, at 1-800-900-3622, or the Coast Guard and to stand by the animal at a safe distance until responders arrive.

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