October 4, 2019
A commercial fisherman reported an entangled humpback whale this morning in Cape Cod Bay, off Provincetown. The Center for Coastal Studies Marine Animal Entanglement Response team responded and found the whale with a buoy on the right side of its flank, with line from the buoy going under the body, around the chin, over its back and down to a trap.
Despite poor and worsening sea conditions, the MAER team was able to cut the line between the buoy and the chin of the whale. There was no entanglement visible when the whale next surfaced, so it’s likely that that once the line was parted the remaining gear fell away.
The CCS Humpback Whale Studies Program is attempting to identify the whale.
Many thanks to the fisher who reported, documented and stood by the whale until the CCS team arrived on scene. Boaters are urged to report any entanglement sightings of whales, sea-turtles or sharks to the MAER team (1-800-900-3622) or the US Coast Guard on VHF 16, and to stand by the animal at a safe distance until trained responders arrive.
CCS disentanglement work is supported by grants from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (MA-DMF), and the Massachusetts Environmental Trust. Support is also provided by the Broad Reach Fund of the Maine Community Foundation, the Pegasus Foundation, the Hermann Foundation, the Mary P. Dolciani Halloran Foundation, and contributions from CCS members. All disentanglement activities are conducted under a federal permit authorized by NOAA.