A whale entangled in buoys and rope. Photo: NSRI
A young juvenile whale entangled in rope and three flotation buoys was freed by NSRI St Francis Bay and South African Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) volunteers yesterday morning.
An extensive disentanglement operation was carried out 1 nautical mile off-shore of Oyster Bay
The NSRI was alerted by reports from a Nick Bournman, from Oyster Bay Beach Lodge, of a whale appearing to be entangled in rope and buoys. The young whale had rope entangled around the peduncle, and while it could swim freely it was burdened by the weight of the entanglement.
The NSRI and SAWDN volunteers responded to the scene in the Spirit of St Francis II sea rescue craft following reports from a Nick Bournman, from the Oyster Bay Beach Lodge, of a whale appearing to be entangled in rope and buoys swimming about a nautical mile off-shore of Oyster Bay. On arrival at 5.25 p the Humpback whales were located swimming together. It appeared to be a mother and two juvenile whales, the smallest of which was entangled.
Using specialised disentanglement equipment, and in an operation lasting under half an hour the whale was freed and swam off. SAWDN volunteers believe the disentanglement operation was a success.
Teh African Whale Disentanglement Network is a volunteer network that began in 2006 made up of volunteers from the Department Of Environmental Affairs – Oceans And Coasts, Nsri, The Dolphin Action And Protection Group, SA National Parks, The SA Police Services, Research Organisations, The Natal Sharks Board, Table Mountain National Parks, West Coast Wildlife Rescue and a host of various marine and environmental groups