Humpback whale freed off Cape Cod

MAER crew use a hooked knife to cut entanglement from humpback whale Foggy. CCS image taken under NOAA permit #18786.

CAPE ANN, Mass (WPRI) – A rescue crew in Cape Cod helped to free a humpback whale that became entangled in rope.

Fishermen spotted the trapped whale, named Foggy, on Wednesday and called in for help from the Center for Coastal Studies’ Marine Animal Entanglement Response (MAER).

When the team arrived, they saw several twisted ropes, about 1” thick, wrapped around the whale’s body and head.

The rope was attached to fishing gear that was tethered to the seafloor, anchoring the 40-ton whale to a small area, but she was still able to surface for air.

It took the team over nine hours to free humpback whale.

MAER says they had to leave part of the rope that was embedded in the whale’s body, because removing it could have been fatal.

The whale was freed, but MAER says she looked very thin and in poor condition, now they’re just hoping for the best.

This is the second time that 29-year old Foggy has become disentangled; the first was in September 2013, off the coast of Nova Scotia.

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