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Severely Entangled Humpback Whale in Massachusetts Freed by MAER team

May 22, 2016 02:43 PM EDT
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Last Wednesday, Provincetown Based Center for Coastal Studies received a call from local fisherman reporting a tangled humpback whale off Cape Ann in Massachusetts

Center for Coastal Studies quickly dispatched their Marine Animal Entanglement Response (MAER) team. When the team arrived at the scene, they noticed that the humpback whale, which was named "Foggy" was severely tangled with ropes about one inch thick around the circumference of its body behind its head, according to CBS Boston.

The rope got snagged on more fishing gears attached in the seafloors, anchoring the whale to a small circle but allowing it to remain at the surface for air.

According to an e-mail sent by Center of Coastal Studies, the MAER team worked cautiously for nine hour to entangle Foggy. Several of the ropes wrapped around Foggy' body were carefully removed. However, a collar remains in place because the rescue team fears that removing the collar embedded 3-6inches deep into blubber and muscle might cause some major complications increasing the risk of death.

"We dulled or broke every knife in our kit and every teammate worked their fingers to the bone for this whale. Short of removing the 40 ton whale from the ocean and performing surgery, we did everything humanly possible for this individual" said Scott Landry, Director of the MAER program, in a statement. "With the collar now broken she has a chance to naturally reject the rope but she is quite thin and in poor condition so we have to hope for the best"

Foggy, a 29-year old female humpback whale also experienced similar fate nearly three years ago. In September 2013, MAER team work hand in hand with Campobello Whale Rescue Team to disentangle Foggy in the Bay of Fundy, off Nova Scotia.

Centers for Coastal Studies extend their gratitude to the fisherman who reported the entangled whale and remained in a safe distance observing the whale until the respond team arrived.

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