Posted by: The ocean update | September 15, 2017

Freed humpback whale still not out of danger (Massachusetts, USA)

There was good news for humpbacks on opposite sides of the world this week, with two of the huge mammals being freed in both WA and Massachusetts . Picture : AAP IMAGES

September 15th, 2017 (AAP). A humpback whale that was disentangled from fishing nets outside Fremantle harbour may still be in danger because it has two ropes wrapped tightly around the middle of its body.

Department of Parks and Wildlife senior marine operations officer John Edwards said the whale was last seen moving strongly in a northerly direction on Sunday evening.

“In the short term, the animal is certainly strong and healthy enough to cope with that rope, but the animal is in that 8-10m range so it’s still got a lot of growing to do,” Mr Edwards said.

“It’s probably sitting at about 30 tonne, these animals can get up to 45 tonne, so it’s got some growing to do and the rope won’t grow with it.

“So, unless it parts and falls off or we’re able to get to it and cut it off, the long term prognosis for the animal is not as good as we hoped.”

Meanwhile, a Massachusetts marine science center says it has disentangled a humpback whale off of Cape Cod.

The Center for Coastal Studies says its Marine Animal Entanglement Response team disentangled the whale off Ballston Beach in Truro.

The team was conducting a research survey on Tuesday when they came across a whale that was stuck in fishing gear about 3km off the beach.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gave the team authorization to attempt the disentanglement.

The animal swam away when it was released.

The team says it appeared to be in good condition.

Whales are experiencing a year of high mortality off of New England and Canada.

Researchers say right whales, in particular, have experienced more deaths than typical.




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