Posted by: The ocean update | January 11, 2016

Whale rescued from creel fishing gear near Durness (Scotland, UK)

BDMLR members from all over Scotland were involved in the rescue effort

BDMLR members from all over Scotland were involved in the rescue effort

January 11th, 2016. Rescuers have freed a 40ft (12m) humpback whale after it became entangled in prawn fishing gear.

A fisherman raised the alarm on Friday after spotting the animal caught in creels anchored in Loch Eriboll.

British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) was offered boats by a nearby fish farm in its effort to free the whale from the ropes on Saturday.

At one point, rescuers used one of the ropes like a horses bridle to control the whale and save it from harm.

Humpbacks are a large species of whales known for launching themselves above the sea’s surface in behaviour called breaching.

During the rescue operation near Durness in Sutherland, the entangled whale breached in front of the BDMLR team.

Using a small inflatable boat, the rescuers were eventually able to cut and pull the ropes off the whale’s body. It then swam free of the fishing gear.

The BDMLR team was drawn from all over Scotland.

It included Ali Jack from Wick, Noel Hawkins of Ullapool, Brian Corbett from Dundee, David Scott and Anna Oliver from Glasgow, Cath Bain of Nairn and observers Donald Mitchell from Durness and Laura Shirra from Ullapool.

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