Endangered right whale saving attempt by biologists


This video says about itself:

Watch: Endangered Right Whale Trapped In Fishing Line:Rescue by Wildlife biologists

20 February 2014

The fate of the whale hangs in the balance with at least 20ft of fishing rope still tangled in its mouth despite a rescue attempt. An endangered whale has become entangled in heavy fishing rope off the US coast of Georgia.

Wildlife biologists had to cut away more than 280ft of the commercial fishing line which was being dragged by the whale.

It is now swimming easier than it was, but they had to leave the whale with at least 20ft of the thick rope still tangled in its mouth.

Clay George, a marine mammal biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, said this would give it “a fighting chance” to free itself.

He said the whale had suffered injuries to its head and tail.

“Disentanglement can’t save every whale. The focus must be on prevention.”

By Philip Ross:

Endangered Whale Gets ‘Fighting Chance’ After Biologists Cut 280 Feet Of Fishing Line From Whale’s Mouth [VIDEO]

A 4-year-old endangered right whale that became entangled in nearly 300 feet of fishing line was partially freed Monday after biologists pursued it and removed some of the heavy rope from its mouth.

The 30-foot whale was spotted in the waters near Jacksonville, Fla., during Navy aerial surveys. Biologists from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission were alerted to the distressed whale’s predicament, and quickly sprang into action to free the giant.

According to Associated Press, the rescue crew was able to remove about 280 feet of the heavy commercial fishing rope, but had to leave some of it inside the whale’s mouth.

“We feel like what we did gives the whale a fighting chance to shed the remainder of the rope on its own,” Clay Georgia, a marine mammal biologist for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, told AP. “The real take-home message here is, we can’t just go out and save and fix every whale that shows up entangled. In some cases it’s just completely impossible to disentangle that whale.”

Experts say that encounters with commercial fishing gear and accidents with ships off the East Coast are the biggest threats right whales face in the wild.

Right whales, which can reach 50 feet in length and are identified by their enormous heads, are the rarest of all large whales. According to National Geographic, right whales were hunted nearly to extinction by 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century whalers. The whales were especially valuable for their abundant oil and baleen, the row of keratin bristles used to filter krill through their mouths. Baleen was used to make corsets, buggy whips and other popular items.

Northern right whales, which are found in the Atlantic along the eastern coast of Canada and the U.S., are the most endangered of all the right-whale species. There are only about 450 northern right whales left in the wild. Each winter, the whales migrate to warmer waters off the coasts of Georgia and Florida to give birth to their calves.

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