WATCH: Whale Rescued From Fishing Net Off Georgia Coast
A four-year-old male right whale was rescued from heavy fishing ropes off the coast of Georgia after being spotted Sunday off Jacksonville, Florida, during an aerial survey.
The marine mammal was entangled in fishing nets from an unknown source. Nets similar to these have and will continue to pose a threat to ocean wildlife everywhere. University of North Carolina Wilmington researchers for the U.S. Navy found the whale dragging yards of fishing net behind it and immediately contacted the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for help.
The rescuers cut away 280 feet of entangled fishing rope late in the day Monday. Despite their heroic efforts, they were unable to cut away all of the netting and did notice some injuries to the whale. Currently, the source of the netting is unknown, and its wounds suggest he/she had been lugging the fishing gear around for several weeks.
More than a whopping 80 percent of right whales are scarred due to entanglements and 60 percent of them have been caught in netting at least twice. Rescuers are unable to save every whale caught in fishing nets so the answer to this deadly dilemma is prevention through safer fishing modalities.
Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot