The Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) marine mammal rescue team completed a humpback whale disentanglement mission on Oct. 14 near Texada Island.
The DFO had received numerous reports of a whale being entangled in fishing gear. The distressed whale was accompanied by two others when the DFO team located it.
The animal was entangled in a large yellow buoy, which was part of prawn gear.
“There were great efforts by the community including RCMP vessel and officers, commercial tug operators, BC Ferry captains, Nanaimo Fishery officers, local whale watch companies and local citizens who reported/worked with us on water or phoned in or radioed the Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) whale desk to notify us of the location of the entangled whale,” said DFO communications advisor Lara Sloan, in a statement. “After the whale was located, the DFO marine mammal rescue team successfully removed the gear.”
Fishing debris continues to be problematic for marine wildlife.
“We encourage people to report any marine mammal in distress in Canadian waters by calling The Marine Mammal Incident Reporting Hotline at 1-800-465-4336,” said Sloan.