Maui News

PHOTOS: Yearling Whale off Maui Disentangled from Fishing Line

December 12, 2014, 6:03 AM HST
* Updated December 12, 4:01 PM
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By Wendy Osher

A juvenile whale was disentangled from heavy fishing line in waters off of Kīhei in South Maui on Wednesday.

Officials say the yearling whale had multiple wraps of heavy gauge, red monofilament longline wrapped around its tail, with bundles of gear trailing behind.

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Humpback whale with entanglement and shark bites on fluke. Fixed knife on pole used to cut line.
(Courtesy of E. Lyman – NOAA HIHWNMS MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

Malia Chow, Superintendent of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, released a statement saying the 30-foot whale had deep wounds to its tail, was thin, covered with parasites, and had shark bites on its tail.

According to Chow, a response team aboard the sanctuary vessel Kohola used knives, a long pole, and cutting grapple to remove nearly all of the gear, with hopes that the remaining line would shed over time.

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The entanglement was the first large response effort this season.

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The disentanglement effort was led by the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sancuary, which is jointly managed by NOAA and the State of Hawaiʻi.

Officials say the sanctuary team worked with trained personnel from NOAA Fisheries, NOAA Corps, the Hawaii Wildlife Fund and trained responders to carry out of the rescue.

To report an injured or entangled marine mammal, NOAA officials advise the public to maintain the required safety distance of 100 yards and call the agency’s Marine Mammal Hotline at (888) 256-9840, or the US Coast Guard on VHF channel 16.

 Entanglement response team onboard Kohola. (Courtesy of J. Moore - NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP permit # 932-1905)


Entanglement response team onboard Kohola.
(Courtesy of J. Moore – NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

 Grapple being thrown by Jason Moore. (Courtesy of J. Moore - NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP permit # 932-1905)


Grapple being thrown by Jason Moore.
(Courtesy of J. Moore – NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

 Jason Moore throwing grapple. (Courtesy of E. Lyman - NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP permit # 932-1905)


Jason Moore throwing grapple.
(Courtesy of E. Lyman – NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

 Ed Lyman with cutting grapple and gear recovered from entangled whale. (Courtesy of J. Moore - NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP permit # 932-1905)


Ed Lyman with cutting grapple and gear recovered from entangled whale.
(Courtesy of J. Moore – NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

 Cutting grapple with gear recovered from entangled whale. (Courtesy of J. Moore - NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP permit # 932-1905)


Cutting grapple with gear recovered from entangled whale.
(Courtesy of J. Moore – NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

 Maui County Ocean Safety Life Guards standing by for support. (Courtesy of E. Zang- NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP permit # 932-1905)


Maui County Ocean Safety Life Guards standing by for support.
(Courtesy of E. Zang- NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

 Ed Lyman with fixed knife on pole retrieving gear removed from entangled whale. (Courtesy of E. Zang- NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP permit # 932-1905)


Ed Lyman with fixed knife on pole retrieving gear removed from entangled whale.
(Courtesy of E. Zang- NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

 Ed Lyman with fixed knife on pole attempting cut. (Courtesy of E. Zang- NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP permit # 932-1905)


Ed Lyman with fixed knife on pole attempting cut.
(Courtesy of E. Zang- NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

 Ed Lyman with fixed knife on pole making cut. (Courtesy of E. Zang- NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP permit # 932-1905)


Ed Lyman with fixed knife on pole making cut.
(Courtesy of E. Zang- NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

 Humpback whale with entanglement (Courtesy of E. Zang- NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP permit # 932-1905)


Humpback whale with entanglement
(Courtesy of E. Zang- NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

 Humpback whale with entanglement (Courtesy of E. Zang- NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP permit # 932-1905)


Humpback whale with entanglement
(Courtesy of E. Zang- NOAA Fisheries MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

 Humpback whale with entanglement (Courtesy of J. Moore - NOAA HIHWNMS MMHSRP permit # 932-1905)


Humpback whale with entanglement
(Courtesy of J. Moore – NOAA HIHWNMS MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

 Humpback whale with entanglement (Courtesy of J. Moore - NOAA HIHWNMS MMHSRP permit # 932-1905)


Humpback whale with entanglement
(Courtesy of J. Moore – NOAA HIHWNMS MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

 Humpback whale with entanglement (Courtesy of J. Moore - NOAA HIHWNMS MMHSRP permit # 932-1905)


Humpback whale with entanglement
(Courtesy of J. Moore – NOAA HIHWNMS MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

 Humpback whale with entanglement (Courtesy of J. Moore - NOAA HIHWNMS MMHSRP permit # 932-1905)


Humpback whale with entanglement
(Courtesy of J. Moore – NOAA HIHWNMS MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

 Humpback whale with entanglement and shark bites on fluke. Fixed knife on pole used to cut line. (Courtesy of E. Lyman - NOAA HIHWNMS MMHSRP permit # 932-1905)

Humpback whale with entanglement and shark bites on fluke. Fixed knife on pole used to cut line.
(Courtesy of E. Lyman – NOAA HIHWNMS MMHSRP
permit # 932-1905)

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