HONOLULU (KHON2) — A surfer taking drone video of the Sunday surf on Maui discovered he also caught an entangled humpback whale on video when he checked his footage the next day.
The whale was spotted off Ukumehame on Maui heading toward Lahaina just before sunset on Sunday, Jan. 9, and ocean wildlife officials are asking the public to keep an eye out for it.
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“It is either a mouth entanglement or wrapped around the petro flippers trailing as two lines, light-colored, but maybe not floating lines. It’s staying below the surface just a little bit and going about, going back about 80 to 90 feet behind the animal. So, not a lot of gear and no buoy — so that’s going to be tough to see,” explained Ed Lyman, of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.
The whale could either be a large sub-adult or a small adult.
Since it has not been spotted since Sunday, officials are hoping it was able to free itself. However, people are still being asked to call the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Hotline at 888-256-9840 in case they see it.
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Additionally, officials are reminding people who go to the beach and/or ocean that they should not leave fishing gear or debris in the water.