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Entangled Whale in San Diego Freed From Fishing Line

Image: Entangled Whale in San Diego Freed From Fishing Line
Arrow shows fishing gear entangling humpback whale.

By    |   Monday, 02 Nov 2015 06:58 AM

An entangled whale near San Diego was freed after a two-day effort by rescuers to cut away a mass of fishing gear from the humpback.

The whale, which was first spotted Friday off the Newport Beach shore near Los Angeles, was caught up with near La Jolla Cove Saturday morning by a SeaWorld Rescue team, reported NBC News.

A National Marine Fisheries Service crew cut about 100 feet of fishing line from the humpback whale on Friday. The SeaWorld crew finished the rescue by cutting away nearly 230 feet of line while traveling with the whale for about five miles Saturday.

"The SeaWorld rescue team believes they were able to cut enough of the gear off of the whale for it to swim away and survive," said SeaWorld spokeswoman Kelly Terry, according to KABC-TV.

SeaWorld officials told NBC News the whale still had some line attached to it but believed it should be okay.

"We need to be realistic with regards to the ultimate outcome for this animal," said Dave Koontz, a SeaWorld spokesman. "While a significant amount of line was removed from the whale yesterday and today, there is still line in its mouth."

The Center for Biological Diversity said in April that whale entanglements have become an increasing problem, citing National Marine Fisheries Service data that there were 30 unique reports of whale entanglements in 2014 off the West Coast, nearly double from the previous year.

"It's heartbreaking to know so many whales are getting tangled up in fishing gear," said Catherine Kilduff, an attorney with the center, adding that crabbing lines are a major problem.

"There are simple, common-sense solutions that will protect the whales, and we're calling on the state to manage this fishery to protect whales. We want to see meaningful changes to address this growing problem before the next crab season begins," said Kilduff.

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An entangled whale near San Diego was freed after a two-day effort by rescuers to cut away a mass of fishing gear from the humpback.
entangled, whale, san diego, fishing, line
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2015-58-02
Monday, 02 Nov 2015 06:58 AM
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