Juvenile Whale Freed from Fishing Gear off P-town

Photo/Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies

The Marine Animal Entanglement Response (MAER) team at the Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies (PCCS) recently disentangled a young humpback whale in waters just outside Cape Cod Bay. It was the 11th whale rescued by the team in 2012, making this the most successful year for disentanglement operations since the program was initiated in 1984.

Responding to a report from a member of the public, the team found the young humpback with multiple wraps of line wound tightly around its fluke and embedded in its flesh.

Working from a small inflatable vessel, the responders used grappling hooks to gain purchase on the entangled line then attached large buoys to the lines to slow the animal and keep it close to the surface. A fixed knife on the end of a long pole was then used to make several strategic cuts in the line and the drag created by the buoys pulled the entanglement from the whale. Though badly wounded, the whale swam off gear-free.

You can check out a short video of this rescue by CLICKING HERE (Facebook).

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