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2016 Brings Record Number of Whale Entanglements, Including This Calf Outside Boston Harbor

CCS image taken under NOAA permit #18786
Entangling fishing gear wrapped around the flukes of the young humpback freed on December 11th outside Boston Harbor.

Last Sunday a young humpback whale was reported caught in fishing gear in the waters outside Boston Harbor. Members of the Marine Animal Entanglement Response Team, from the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, traveled to the scene. Scott Landry, Director of the team, speaks with WCAI's Steve Junker about disentangling the whale.

Landry says the whale was likely a calf of this year, 20-25 feet long, still nursing recently from its mother. It had been caught in the gear for about twelve days. It was freed by the team using sharp hooks on the end of long poles to cut the lines.

There have been 44 confirmed whale entanglements this year on the eastern seaboard, Landry says, making 2016 the highest record year for whale entanglements.

Here's a short video of the young humpback, showing it shortly before and after being freed of its anchoring fishing gear: 

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.