(Mirror Daily, United States) – Southern California whale watchers spotted an entangled humpback whale just off of Dana Point and heading further south. It was unfortunate that the marine mammal was not able to be rescued and have the drum or buoy taken off.
On Friday, watchers from Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari spotted a humpback whale swimming through the waters and seemingly entangled. Unfortunately, due to the fading light, it was impossible to either track or rescue the animal from the entanglement. Thus, they have placed notifications with both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and other whale watchers further south.
Captain Dave Anderson stated that this might be the same whale officials have spotted back on October 27th, but could not confirm. Reportedly, it was travelling slowly through shallow waters, at 3.5 knots per hour. By Saturday, it was suggested that it may have reached San Diego, and then travelled even to Mexico.
However, the marine mammals have unpredictable patterns, so it cannot be said where the whale would be by now. Regardless, whale watchers have been asked to keep an eye out. Crew members who recorded the entangled humpback have stated that it did not seemed to be wrapped in fishing gear. Instead, the foreign object appeared to be a buoy that was likely caught by accident.
Whales have the ability of living a good amount of time in spite of entanglements of wires wrapped around their heads, but experts advise not to risk it. According to NOAA, around 1,000 dolphins and whales die each day due to these types of unfortunate accidents. Be it simple encounters with boats or purposeful attempts at fishing, their lives are placed in peril.
This has called for a warning to all whale watchers all the way from California to Mexico, who might spot the humpback whale once again.
Cpt. Dave Anderson started organizing Orange County’s first whale and dolphin disentanglement group back in 2008, and has handled at least 50 cases this year. The close encounters endanger the marine mammals’ lives, so it should keep whale watchers on the lookout. They have also asked the population to immediately contact Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari in case anyone spots the entangled humpback or other local experts that might help.
Officials also advised people not to approach the marine mammal or attempt removing the line or buoy themselves. As good as their intentions may be, it could come with several risks.