August 14th, 2016. Mammal still at risk after shedding gear.
A rescue group says an entangled humpback whale that’s been surfacing off the coast Newfoundland and Labrador has shed of the fishing gear it got caught in, but that does not mean it’s out of troubled waters.
Wayne Ledwell of Whale Release and Strandings group says the whale was last seen feeding with other whales near Forteau in southern Labrador.
Ledwell said the powerful creature had freed itself of a batch of snow crab pots, but was still towing roughly 365 metres of rope and an orange buoy.
Ledwell said the whale was at risk of snagging onto more fishing gear, putting both the animal and boaters at risk.
The whale was first spotted last month by a tour boat off Mobile, N.L., south of St. John’s, and another sighting was reported farther north at Bonavista Bay a few days later.
The rescue group, financed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, gets about 20 entanglement calls each year between May and October, and recently freed another humpback in Bonavista Bay after a two-hour effort.