September 24th, 2016. PROVINCETOWN – The Marine Animal Entanglement Response (MAER) team at the Center for Coastal Studies worked to disentangle a North Atlantic right whale on Thursday on Stellwagen Bank.
The whale was eventually outfitted with a telementry buoy that will allow the team to track the whale and monitor its progress.
The whale was originally found by recreational boaters but was eventually lost.
The Dolphin VIII whale watch crew came across the whale and stayed by it until the MAER team arrived.
The whale was towing hundreds of feet of line and buoys from its upper jaw.
Using hook-shaped knives at the end of long poles, the team cut away most of the trailing ropes and then added a telementry buoy to the remaining line.
The team then concentrated on making a cut to the tight wrap of rope around the head of the whale.
Eventually, the team dragged a sharp knife over the rope as the whale dove.
The whale then disappeared from the area and was not seen again by the team.
Officials said that the remaining gear on the whale should be shed over time and the whale will be tracked.
The New England Aquarium right whale research team has identified the whale as an eight year old female last seen in November 2015.
Boaters are urged to report any entanglement sightings of whales, sea-turtles and other marine animals to the Marine Animal Entanglement Response hotline at 1-800-900-3622.