Members of the Marine Animal Entanglement team at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown on Friday successfully freed a juvenile humpback whale entangled in fishing gear off the coast of New Jersey.
The whale was spotted Thursday by a marine mammal observer aboard a dredge working in the area. The entanglement was reported to the U.S. Coast Guard, who remained on stand-by overnight to monitor the animal and keep the area clear of boaters.
NOAA Fisheries, the federal agency charged with monitoring whale populations, contacted the Coastal Studies team yesterday afternoon. The Provincetown responders have been at the scene since 8 a.m. this morning.
Scott Landry, director of the MAER program, reported that the humpback had line wrapped around its tail and was effectively anchored to the seafloor. Landry and fellow MAER responder Jenn Tackaberry made a single cut through the line and the gear dropped away. After a few minutes the whale swam off, gear free.
Landry noted that, while the whale did sustain some injuries to the tail, the prognosis is good.
The entanglement response team was assisted by the Brigantine Stranding Network, and a local fisherman assisted during the operation.
Since 1984 the MAER team has freed more than 200 whales, sea turtles and other marine animals from potentially life-threatening entanglements.
Read more: http://www.wickedlocal.com/provincetown/news/x915444660/Provincetown-rescuers-free-entangled-whale-off-New-Jersey#ixzz2klH6SXZn
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