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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, April 8, 2010

Entangled humpback whale freed

Advertiser Staff

A male humpback whale that was entangled in fishing gear outside Haleiwa boat harbor was successfully released this afternoon.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration received a call this morning that a humpback whale was entangled just outside the harbor. A team from NOAA Fisheries Science Center, Coast Guard and the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary responded to the scene.

The team discovered that the 30- to 35-foot whale, a large juvenile or small adult, was anchored to the sea floor by fishing gear. The whale was able to surface and breathe, despite being anchored, NOAA said.

Using a hooked knife, the team was able to cut the lines that were wrapping the left pectoral fin and the whale was able to break free at about 5:30 p.m. NOAA said the whale appeared to be in good condition and was expected to survive.

Anyone who wants to report an entangled marine animal is asked to call the NOAA Hotline at 1-888-256-9840.