Humpback whale disentangled off Cape – News – southcoasttoday.com

PROVINCETOWN — A young humpback whale was cut free Friday afternoon off the Cape from what appeared to be a long-term entanglement of heavy rope and buoys, according to the Center for Coastal Studies.

The humpback was first discovered by a charter vessel just outside the Nauset Inlet early Friday afternoon, the center wrote in a statement.

‘The whale was towing two orange buoys but was still able to travel and dive,’ the center wrote. When the center’s Marine Animal Entanglement Response team arrived, the whale was about 3 miles northwest of where it was first spotted. ‘The whale had a bridle of heavy line lopped through its mouth and twisted across its back; tangled line and buoys trailed about 100 feet behind its flukes.’

The team was able to cut through the lines and the whale was able to free itself and swim off.

The center’s team is responsible for large whale and sea turtle disentanglement in southern New England waters including New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The center has restarted its large whale entanglement response after a one-week suspension of the work after the death July 10 of Canadian whale rescuer Joe Howlett during a right whale rescue in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

As a precaution, the center’s team and all other large whale disentanglement teams in the U.S. are required to consult with federal officials before responding to a North Atlantic right whale entanglement. In Canada, right whale entanglement response has been halted pending a review of the circumstances of Howlett’s death.

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