Endangered humpback whale off NJ freed from entanglement

Juvenile humpback whale freed from a potentially life threatening entanglement in fishing gear in the waters off NJ by members of the Center for Coastal Studies Marine Animal Entanglement Response team (CCS MAER). Photos by Danielle Monaghan of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC) under NOAA permit 932-1905.

Juvenile humpback whale freed from a potentially life threatening entanglement in fishing gear in the waters off NJ by members of the Center for Coastal Studies Marine Animal Entanglement Response team (CCS MAER). Photos by Danielle Monaghan of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center (MMSC) under NOAA permit 932-1905.

Friday, November 15, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: PCCS Contact:
Cathrine Macort
+1-508-487-3622 x103
+1-508-808-9660
cmacort@coastalstudies.org

Today, members of the Marine Animal Entanglement team at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown (CCS MAER) successfully freed a juvenile humpback whale entangled in fishing gear off the coast of New Jersey.

The whale was spotted yesterday by a marine mammal observer aboard a dredge working in the area. The entanglement was reported to the U.S. Coast Guard, who remained on stand-by overnight to monitor the animal and keep the area clear of boaters.

NOAA Fisheries, the Federal agency charged with the monitoring whale populations, contacted the CCS MAER team yesterday afternoon, and the

Pictured are Scott Landry (Director, CCS MAER program) and Jenn Tackaberry (CCS MAER team member).

Pictured are Scott Landry (Director, CCS MAER program) and Jenn Tackaberry (CCS MAER team member).

Provincetown responders have been at the scene since 8 am this morning.
Scott Landry, Director of the MAER program, reported that the humpback had line wrapped around its tail and was effectively anchored to the seafloor. Landry and fellow CCS MAER responder Jenn Tackaberry made a single cut through the line and the gear dropped away. After a few minutes the whale swam off, gear free.

Landry noted that, while the whale did sustain some injuries to the tail, but the prognosis is good.

The entanglement response team was assisted by the Brigantine Stranding Network, and a local fisherman was also very helpful throughout the operation.

Responders from the Center for Coastal Studies and the USCG work to free an entangled leatherback turtle.

Responders from the Center for Coastal Studies and the USCG work to free an entangled leatherback turtle.

The Center for Coastal Studies is federally-authorized to perform large whale disentanglement under the authority of Scientific Research and Enhancement Permit Number 932-1905, issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service and United States Fish and Wildlife Service under the authority of the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.

To report an entangled marine animal, please contact 1-800-900-3622, 866-755-NOAA (6622), or your local USCG station. Since 1984 the MAER team has freed more than 200 whales, sea turtles and other marine animals from potentially life-threatening entanglements