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article imageHumpback whale tangled days in fishing line gets help from humans

By Marcus Hondro     Nov 1, 2015 in Environment
It is not the first time a whale has been tangled in fishing line and sadly it will not be the last. But in this case the adult Humpback was helped by rescuers; however, there is concern as it still has some line attached to it.
Untangling fishing line
The Humpback, a part of the Blue Whale family, was seen tangled up on Friday by a National Marine Fisheries Service Agency boat; it was tangled in fishing line and rope from its mouth to tail. They were able to cut away about 100 feet of fishing line from the whale.
That was off the Newport Beach coaat near Los Angeles. The next day that same whale was spotted again, still tangled in fishing line. On information from SeaWorld and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Phil Helsel of NBC News reported the whale was spotted again on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. "near La Jolla Cove around 65 miles down the coast."
Whale rescue efforts
Boats from the SeaWorld Rescue team worked to untangle line from the large cetacean. They attached a floating line to the fishing gear the whale was tangled in and followed it for some three hours, cutting away fishing line as they went. They believe they cut off another 230 more feet of line.
But, unhappily, they were unable to get it all. "We need to be realistic with regards to the ultimate outcome for this animal," Dave Koontz of SeaWorld said. "While a significant amount of line was removed from the whale yesterday and today, there is still line in its mouth."
Saturday the NOAA said they have come to the aid of as many as 50 whales entangled in rope, net and fishing line since January. That is a high number and it is attributed to the spike in warm weather causing the whales to seek food closer in to the shore.
They are trying to trace where whales are coming in contact with fishing line with the view of finding ways to prevent them becoming tangled in the first place. The results can sometime mean death for a whale who becomes too tangled to move freely about or too tangled to feed.
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