Subject: Entanglement/Injured Right Whale (fwd)

mike williamson (williams@www1.wheelock.edu)
Mon, 27 Jul 1998 14:38:09 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re:Ent/Injured Right Whale


The Disentanglement Team was able to remove all the gear from around the whale's
tail stock by 1700 Friday.  The injuries to the animal were assumed to be all
from the gear, not from propeller injuries as reported earlier.

The disentanglement was a real team effort with involvement from the Dennis
police and harbormaster, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and
Environmental Police, U.S. Coast Guard vessel and air support, and a private
vessel that was a big help in tracking the animal.  The Center for Coastal
Studies had two vessels out.

NEA and CCS right whale biologists are attempting to determine whether this
whale is one that was seen entangled in the Bay of Fundy last August.  There was
a lot of documentation from this animal, so a comparison should be possible.

The animal had very deep gashes on either side (leading edges) of the tail
flukes with possible scar tissue, and the injuries were infested with cyamids. 
CCS reports that the whale was not emaciated.  

It is possible that there is still some line remaining through the animal's
mouth or around the left flipper.  Hopefully the documentation will reveal
presence/absence.  

The gear taken off the animal has not yet been examined closely.  CCS reports a
large tangle of line of at least two colors.

____________________Reply Separator____________________
Subject:    Ent/Injured Right Whale
Author: Kimberly Thounhurst
Date:       7/24/98 3:03 PM

The Center for Coastal Studies has received a report from the Dennis
harbormaster of an entangled right whale 2 1/2 miles off Corporate Beach.  CCS
is on-scene in two vessels, Mass Env. Police, the harbormaster, and USCG are
also on-scene.  A USCG helo w/MEP officer on board have also been assisting with
searching for the animal, which was difficult to follow.

Preliminary reports from CCS indicate that there were two right whales, the
smaller of which is injured, apparently with deep prop scars and a wrap of some
kind of gear.  The whales were did not remain in close-association so may not be
a mother/calf pair.

I have not received word from the Team whether they will attempt to disentangle
this animal or pursue another course of action such as tagging.