On Friday, December 4, the Marine Animal Entanglement Response (MAER) team from the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown (CCS) disentangled a humpback whale in Cape Cod Bay.
The crew of a tug and tow reported the entanglement to the MAER hotline then stood by the animal until responders arrived on the scene.
The humpback was located in the middle of Cape Cod Bay. When the MAER team arrived on site they discovered that the whale was anchored in place with line wrapped around its flukes.
The responders were able to establish a working line to the entanglement to mark the progress of the whale during dives, then use a hooked knife on the end of a long pole to cut away the gear. The whale swam north, out of Cape Cod Bay, and has a good prognosis for survival.
The CCS Humpback Whale Studies team is working to identify the whale.
The Center wishes to thank the crew of the tug for their valuable assistance with this case.
Mariners are urged to report any entanglement sightings of whales, sea-turtles and other marine animals to the Marine Animal Entanglement Response Hotline (1-800-900-3622) or the US Coast Guard, and to stand by the animal at a safe distance until trained responders arrive.
CCS disentanglement work is supported by a grant from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MA-DMF).
Support for the Marine Animal Response Team also comes from grants from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust, the Pegasus Foundation, the Hermann Foundation, the Mary P. Dolciani Halloran Foundation, the G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation, the Grace W. Allsop Foundation, the MALLRD Foundation, and contributions from CCS members. All disentanglement activities are conducted under a federal permit authorized by NOAA.