Posted by: The ocean update | June 23, 2015

Santa Cruz : Humpback whale entangled in crab pots spotted off coast (California, USA)

Officials are searching for an entangled humpback whale that was spotted off Capitola's shore on Monday morning. (Tamara Badano -- USCG Auxiliary)

Officials are searching for an entangled humpback whale that was spotted off Capitola’s shore on Monday morning. (Tamara Badano — USCG Auxiliary)

June 23rd, 2015 (Samantha Clark). Santa Cruz — The U.S. Coast Guard is asking boaters to look out for an entangled whale that was spotted off Capitola’s shore on Monday morning. It was seen outside the Santa Cruz harbor on Sunday.

The humpback whale is wrapped in thick metal lining with a white buoy stuck to its tail and two yellow crab pot floats near its head.

“Crab pots are what we usually see them getting tangled up in,” said Heather Shaw Willis, coordinator of the Whale Entanglement Team, a trained volunteer squad affiliated with the National Marine Fisheries Service. “They feed where crab pots tend to be.”

The National Marine Fisheries Service has recorded more than 25 whale entanglements this year, often in crab pots. Last year, 30 whales were caught in gear, which is double the previous year.

Environmental groups have been urging state fisheries managers to implement reforms.

Crabbers have been welcoming collaborative solutions. No one knows exactly why there’s been a spike, but some believe the warmer water may be a factor.

Fishermen north of Santa Cruz reported an entangled whale a week ago. Authorities believe the two sightings are of the same animal.

Willis is encouraging people to take photos of the whale to aid in determining where the crab floats originated and what kind of injuries the whale may be suffering.
Anyone with information about the whale’s location should also call (877) SOS-WHALE or (877) 767-9425.
Advertisements

Categories

%d bloggers like this: