Trapped humpback whale freed from fishing rope in 2-hour operation near Port Alfred

2019-08-05 16:33
 (iStock)

(iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

After a two-hour operation, SA Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) officials freed a 9-metre humpback whale that became entangled in fishing rope near Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape. 

People aboard a passing container ship saw the whale caught in fishing rope lines and flotation buoys in the vicinity of Port Alfred and reported what they saw to the network on Sunday.

"On arrival on the scene, SAWDN and National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Port Alfred commenced a search but no sign of the whale could be located and at last light on Sunday evening, the search operation was suspended," SAWDN spokesperson Craig Lambinon said in a statement. 

On Monday, fishermen alerted the SAWDN when they spotted the entangled whale about 1.5 nautical miles offshore from the Kowie River Mouth. 

"While the SAWDN cutting equipment and gear in Port Elizabeth was being arranged to be transported to Port Alfred, the SAWDN and NSRI Port Alfred members, in Port Alfred, fearing that the whale may move away from where it had been spotted, rigged makeshift disentanglement cutting equipment and makeshift disentanglement gear that was used in this disentanglement operation," Lambinon said. 

The whale was eventually located. Fishing rope was strung through and around the whale's mouth and it was attached to fishing gear, crayfish traps and flotation buoys.

"In a sensitive and delicate operation lasting two hours, the team gently cut all entangled fishing rope and gear, successfully freeing the adult whale from the entanglement.

"While the whale appeared to be weak and tired the whale does appear to be healthy following this ordeal. SAWDN is confident that after this successful disentanglement operation, the whale will survive and gradually regain strength and health," Lambinon said. 

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android here now. Get it for your iPhone here.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    sawdn  |  nsri  |  port elizabeth  |  marine life
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.