Humpback Whales Freed from Life-Threatening Plastic

A humpback whale, found to be in danger off Hawaii’s coast, was discovered last week. “The animal’s behavior was very evasive, and while it stayed near the surface, it maintained unusually rapid speeds, at times in excess of six knots,”The agency stated this in a statement.

The federal crime of approaching a humpback whale is why the team worked under a federal permit. This allowed trained responders to get close enough. An inflatable boat was used to cut off the gear with a knife attached to a pole.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a rescue team cut off about 140 feet of small-gauge line that was wrapped around the whale’s tail and fins, and a plastic trawling buoy that was floating behind.

Officials say the yearling’s flesh was being cut into from the line, but was ultimately in good condition.

The gear has now been removed from the whale’s entanglement. It is being examined to determine its origin.

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