Rescuers have spent around seven hours freeing a young humpback whale from fishing gear off the coast of South Africa.
The 8.5m whale, which had become entangled in rope and floatation buoys, was spotted 500 metres off-shore of Cape Point on the False Bay. South Africa’s Whale Disentanglement Network, together with the National Sea Rescue Institute then helped co-ordinate the rescue with local fishermen over a two day period.
One of the ropes wrapped around the young humpback appeared to be anchored to rock lobster nets on the sea bed. Reports suggest that the whale could have become entangled further out to sea and then dragged the nets further into shore. Eventually, the ropes were cut and the whale swam away relatively unharmed.
Fishing nets and gear are the biggest killer of whales and dolphins across the world. There is no ocean where this is not a serious issue, and it puts man threatened species in more danger.