Two whales untangled from ropes near Yzerfontein

SAWDN attempting to cut a rope from the 11m Humpback whale. (Supplied, NSRI)
SAWDN attempting to cut a rope from the 11m Humpback whale. (Supplied, NSRI)

Cape Town – Two whales were freed from fishing lines, ropes, and flotation buoys in the vicinity of Dassen Island, near Yzerfontein, on Tuesday morning, the SA Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) said.

An 11-metre Humpback whale was found swimming freely, with a rope and buoy around his tail, said SAWDN head Mike Meyer.

The whale was in good health and moved swiftly through the water, making it difficult for the team to cut at the rope.

When the whale surfaced, specialised equipment was used to cut a large portion of the rope. With a small rope still attached, the whale swam off confidently, he said.

The team found a second whale, south-west of the island, trapped to the ocean floor by a line of rope running to an anchored lobster trap.

The eight-metre Humpback had rope through its mouth running to its tail. The team cut the rope free and escorted it through the lobster trap lines out into open water, where it swam off.

A third entangled whale was reported but could not be found, said Meyer. Having found a loose flotation buoy, the team suspected the whale may have freed itself.


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