LAHAINA, Hawaii (KHON2) — A mother whale is free after she was entangled in fishing line around her head.
Her baby was near her as well as a male escort humpback whale. There were different types of lines and netting she was entangled in.
It took teams about six hours to get 550 feet of line wrapped around her head by her front flippers.
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Once freed, the mother and her calf went into resting behavior which response teams said is a successful response that increases both their chances of survival.
Tour vessel Napali Explorer III saw her on February 12.
Tour vessel Trilogy V saw her again on Valentine’s Day, Monday, Feb. 14. That’s when NOAA responders freed her outside Lahaina Harbor, Maui.
Several agencies helped in freeing the mother whale including the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, the Ultimate Whale Watch dedicated and trained response team, the U.S. Coast Guard from Station Maui (USCG), NOAA Office of Law Enforcement (OLE), NOAA Corps, Cardinal Point Captains (CPC), and University of Hawaʻii at Mānoa – Marine Mammal Research Program (MMRP), NOAA Fisheries, the state of Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources.
If you see an entangled whale or injured marine mammal, call the NOAA Marine Wildlife Hotline at 888-256-9840 or the U.S. Coast Guard on VHF channel 16 immediately.
If you see a vessel coming too close to a whale, call the NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Hotline at 800-853-1964 or email email@example.com.
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For more information, visit the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary website.