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Whale calf reported entangled in crab trap gear off Haleiwa

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Mammal Response Team searched today but could not find an entangled whale calf reported at 6 p.m. Wednesday off Haleiwa.

The crew of the Hoonanea, a sunset cruise vessel, reported seeing the whale entangled in what appeared to be crab trap gear about a mile or two off the coast, said David Schofield, manager of NOAA Regional Marine Mammal Health and Response Program.

Crew members also reported seeing tiger sharks following it, and the mother was nowhere in sight for the 20 minutes  the calf followed the boat. The entanglement was through the mouth, which could be life-threatening, Schofield said. Schofield said the Marine Mammal Response Team  could not begin the search at night and began searching Thursday morning

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