The Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies reports that its Marine Animal Entanglement Response (MAER) Team has disentangled a young humpback whale approximately 5 miles east of Chatham, Massachusetts.
The entanglement was reported to the MAER hotline at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 5, by a recreational boater, who then remained near the whale until the responders arrived from Provincetown.
According to Scott Landry, director of the MAER program, the whale was so severely entangled that it was essentially anchored in place, with line through its mouth and wrapped several times around its body and tail.
Once on site the responders, working from a small inflatable boat, used hook-shaped knives on the end of long poles to sever the line. After several cuts the ropes the team was able to remove the rope and the humpback swam off, wounded but gear-free.
Photographic identification data was taken on the scene and will be analyzed by the Humpback Studies Program at Center.