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Whale freed of life-threatening entanglement off Lahaina

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 09:24 p.m. HST, Mar 12, 2013


A male humpback whale was freed Monday from a life-threatening entanglement of more than 200 feet of fishing gear between Kahoolawe and Lahaina, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary reported today.

The tour vessel, Man-of-War, reported the entanglement Friday near Lahaina.

A response team was immediately dispatched, and initially cut 40 feet of small-gauge line wrapped several times around the whale’s tail, which was cutting into the animal.

The team also attached a satellite tag buoy to the whale, relocated it Monday and removed the remainder of the gear, including two of three buoys.

Sanctuary personnel could not determine the type of gear the animal was entangled in.

There have been three confirmed reports of humpback whales entangled this season, and this is the first successful rescue, the sanctuary said.

The sanctuary worked closely with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Coast Guard, Kahoolawe Island Reserve Commission, the West Maui Rapid Response team, MacGillivray Freeman Films, researchers, tour and charter boat companies and many others.






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