Posted by: The ocean update | May 19, 2015

Humpback Whale Rescued for Third Time Off Provincetown (Massachusetts, USA)

CCS responders used a fixed knife on the end of a pole to cut away the gear. CCS image taken under NOAA permit 932-1905.

CCS responders used a fixed knife on the end of a pole to cut away the gear. CCS image taken under NOAA permit 932-1905.

May 19th, 2015. PROVINCETOWN – The Marine Animal Entanglement Response team from the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown released a humpback whale from a life-threatening entanglement last week.

The adult female, named Spinnaker, was spotted about 90 miles from Provincetown.

Marine Animal Entanglement Response team member Doug Sandilands explained how Spinnaker was entangled.

“The line went sort of between its mouth to its tail,” he said. “It was kind of hog-tied and wasn’t able to swim.”

Spinnaker was released after four hours of work on Thursday.

It was the third time she had been released from an entanglement.

Her last entanglement was off the coast of Maine in September of 2014 and before that she was released after getting tangled off Maine in 2006.

Sandilands said that it is not uncommon for the same whale to get entangled more than once.

“It’s not necessarily that the whale is doing anything wrong,” he said. “It just happens to be that some whales spend more time in areas with more gear in the water.”

The whale was spotted on Cashes Ledge by the Northeast Fisheries Science Center aerial survey team, who circled the whale for about three hours until the entanglement response team could arrive.

Heavy fishing gear wrapped around Spinnaker's flukes. CCS image taken under NOAA permit 932-1905.

Heavy fishing gear wrapped around Spinnaker’s flukes. CCS image taken under NOAA permit 932-1905.

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