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From Experience Born in Provincetown Comes a Global Network to Prevent Whale Entanglement


On Thanksgiving Day in 1984, David Mattila and Charles "Stormy" Mayo set out from Provincetown to free an entangled whale. It was their first attempt, and they had little to guide them.

Since that day they have been at the center of creating protocols and best practices for whale entanglement response. The tools and methods they developed are being applied around the world.

Working at the Center for Coastal Studies, Mattila now coordinates the Global Whale Entanglement Response Network, which operates in partnership with the International Whaling Commission. He travels internationally to teach entanglement response, while advocating for fishing methods and research to reduce the number of whale entanglements.

In the audio below, Mattila speaks with Steve Junker about his work with the GWERN, and recalls that first attempt to free a whale. Give a listen.

David Mattila will be giving a free talk on the work of the Global Whale Entanglement Response Network on Wednesday, January 27 at 7 pm, at Napi's Restaurant, 7 Freeman Street, Provincetown. More info.

Steve is Managing Editor of News. He came to WCAI in 2007. He also hosts the weekly News Roundup on Friday mornings and produces The Fishing News.