Humpback Whale Disentangled in Bay of Fundy

Thursday, June 12, 2014
Campobello, New Brunswick

The Campobello Whale Rescue Team (CWRT) successfully disentangled a humpback whale Tuesday evening 50 miles offshore in the Bay of Fundy. The whale was identified by the Center for Coastal Studies as 9 year-old "Hangglide," a frequent visitor to these waters.

Caught up in two lobster trawls, the whale was anchored to the sea floor, unable to free itself. "We're lucky it was a clear day," said Mackie Green, leader of the Campobello Whale Rescue Team. "If there had been bad weather, that whale could have easily drowned before we got to him."

The whale was so far offshore that Mr. Greene asked the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for safety support, who obliged by sending out 2 vessels to accompany the CWRT zodiac.

The team found the whale 50 miles offshore, and proceeded to attach their boat to it in order to get close enough to begin the disentanglement operation. Using specialized equipment, the team was able to finally cut the massive animal free after four hours of painstaking work.

The CWRT was alerted to the trapped whale by a whale watching boat based in Maine. The call came through the whale emergency hotline, a service provided by the Government of Canada, the Canadian Whale Institute, the Marine Animal Response Society, and the International Fund for Animal Welfare. The CWRT operates under the auspices of the Canadian Whale Institute, and receives financial support for operations from the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Any whale emergencies in the Bay of Fundy should be reported to the whale emergency hotline: 1-866-567-6277.

To schedule an interview with Mackie Greene, or to request images of the whale disentanglement, please contact Res Krebs, communications officer, IFAW Canada.

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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