Video shows island rescuers freeing humpback whale from fishing gear


The whale was caught in the ropes of a large yellow buoy used for shrimp fishing.

The daring rescue of a humpback whale entangled in fishing gear near Texada Island is a reminder of the dangers of marine debris, according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

On Friday, the federal marine mammal rescue team learned of the existence of a humpback whale caught in the ropes of a large yellow buoy used for shrimp fishing.

In video footage taken by DFO, rescuers manage to free the contraption, which appeared to be attached to the whale’s mouth.

“Debris is a real problem for marine wildlife,” said an email from DFO communications advisor Lara Sloane.

Sloane said the public can help prevent entanglements by cutting packing materials, bands, ropes and other looped materials before discarding them, and by not discarding these materials into the marine environment.

DFO said the rescue was a community effort that included the RCMP, commercial tug operators, BC Ferries captains, Nanaimo fishery officers, whale-watching companies and others who worked with DFO on the water and provided updates on the location of the entangled whale.

Anyone who sees a marine mammal in distress is asked to call the Marine Mammal Incident Reporting Hotline at 1-800-465-4336.


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