Whale tangled in fishing line spotted off SC coast

Whale tangled in fishing line spotted off SC coast
San Francisco Chronicle – San Francisco,CA,USA

A rescue team worked to free a young whale from a tangle of fishing line after the mammal was spotted Thursday off the South Carolina coast. Rescue efforts were to continue Friday.

“This is a severe entanglement,” said Teri Rowles, lead veterinarian for fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “We will try to cut the tight lines around the head, and remove as much of the rope and gear as we possibly can.”

The whale — about 35 to 40 feet long and believed to be 2 years old — was moving south, about 14 miles off the Charleston coast. Rescuers were able to take advantage of calm seas Thursday and remove some of the fishing gear, NOAA spokeswoman Connie Barclay said. She said the rescue team intended to spend the night at sea with the animal.

The whale was one of two first spotted entangled Dec. 6 off the North Carolina coast. Two weeks later, the whale was seen off the Georgia coast and a tracking device was attached to it. The other whale has not been seen again, Barclay said.

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