Humpback whale freed from tangle of lobster traps in Bay of Fundy

Harry Sullivan
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Yarmouth County Vanguard - The Campobello Whale Rescue Team (CWRT) successfully disentangled a humpback whale on Tuesday, 50 miles offshore in the Bay of Fundy.

A rescue team works to free a humpback whale that had become entangled in lobster traps in the Bay of Fundy.

The whale was identified by the Center for Coastal Studies as nine-year-old “Hangglide,” a frequent visitor to these waters.

Caught up in two lobster trawls, the whale was anchored to the sea floor, unable to free itself.

“We’re lucky it was a clear day,” said Mackie Green, leader of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team.

 “If there had been bad weather, that whale could have easily drowned before we got to him.”

The whale was so far offshore that Greene asked the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for safety support, who obliged by sending out two vessels to accompany the CWRT zodiac.

The team found the whale 50 miles offshore and proceeded to attach their boat to it in order to get close enough to begin the disentanglement operation. Using specialized equipment, the team was able to finally cut the massive animal free after four hours of painstaking work.

The CWRT was alerted to the trapped whale by a whale watching boat based in Maine. The call came through the whale emergency hotline, a service provided by the Government of Canada, the Canadian Whale Institute, the Marine Animal Response Society, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

The CWRT operates under the auspices of the Canadian Whale Instituted, and receives financial support for operations from the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Any whale emergencies in the Bay of Fundy should be reported to the whale emergency hotline: 1-866-567-6277.

 

Organizations: Center for Coastal Studies, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Marine Animal Response Society Canadian Whale Instituted

Geographic location: Bay of Fundy, Maine, Canada

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