Subject: Entanglement:East Stellwagen HBW (fwd)

mike williamson (williams@www1.wheelock.edu)
Wed, 8 Jul 1998 11:07:16 -0400 (EDT)

Last Thursday evening, July 2, CCS located an entangled humpback which is
believed to be the same whale as that seen the previous week and removed the
netting and line from around the tail and most of the gear through the mouth. 
The latter part of the gear was not visible until the gear around the tail was
removed.  The whale had several tight wraps of line around and cutting into the
tail and also loose wraps which had apparently shifted...which was most likely
the cause of the differences in the description of the entanglement over the
previous week.  The whale was thrashing when CCS tried to remove the line from
the mouth, so they had to cut the line leaving a short piece through the mouth. 

CCS reports that the condition of the animal's skin was not good.  The
entanglement may have compromised its ability to breach.  They obtained some
good fluke photographs for ID, so hopefully this animal will be seen again with
more normal coloration and skin condition.  

There was not much gear retrieved, but this will be another sample for Al to add
to his growing collection of fragments.  

Anyway, CCS located the whale but were unable to disentangle it yesterday.  They
and probably most of the whale watch companies are on stand-by if there is
another sighting.  The entanglement is difficult to spot because the gear is
tight around the tail stock with not much trailing and there are no buoys.  In
addition, the animal is taking 10 minute dives and is swimming low in the water.
 

CCS will be examining ID shots obtained over the week to determine exactly how
many different entanglements we actually had.

A correction from yesterday:  the entangled whale and escort were probably not a
mother/calf pair.

____________________Reply Separator____________________
Subject:    East Stellwagen HBW
Author: Kimberly Thounhurst
Date:       6/24/98 3:18 PM

The Center for Coastal Studies disentanglement team is out on the eastern side
of the Bank preparing to disentangle a humpback whale.  The animal was reported
to have net around its tail.  The vessel that reported the entanglement took
documentation which hopefully will enable us to determine whether this is the
same whale that was sighted entangled on Monday evening.

This animal today is apparently a cow escorted by (?escorting?) a calf.

The USCG Provincetown has a 22-footer out with CCS.

We are also investigating the possibility of another humpback entanglement with
a gear description that does not match the one CCS is currently working on.