NOAA and Sanctuary Officials Trying to Untangle Humpback Whale
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries and Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary officials are trying to untangle a humpback whale entangled in strong synthetic fishing line.
The entangled 45-foot, 45-ton whale was spotted off the coast of the Big Island by Sunshine Helicopters and Blue Hawaiian Helicopters approximately 45 miles northwest of Hilo. It was again spotted on Sunday by various tour boats near Kailua-Kona.
Ed Lyman, resource protection manager and large whale entanglement response coordinator for the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, mentioned that valuable information on the whale’s whereabouts and its current condition has been provided by tour companies and some residents.
The rescue operations over the weekend were hampered due to stormy conditions. A Wild Hawaii Ocean Adventures boat with passengers onboard stayed with the whale, maintaining a distance until a team of responders could arrive.
According to the boat’s caption, the whale seemed okay and was relying heavily on its flippers. In order to track the whale’s movements, a satellite tag was pit on it. Monday rescue effort was postponed when the whale moved on to an area with strong and treacherous ocean currents.
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