Whale of a rescue: Humpback and her calf disentangled from fishing gear

The Center for Coastal Studies said this was the third whale disentanglement they've seen in three weeks

A humpback whale swims off the coast of Massachusetts on July 8, 2024

A humpback whale tangled in 150 feet of fishing rope through her mouth is swimmingly free once again thanks to the work of an entanglement response team.

The whale, named Mudskipper, and her calf were spotted east of Boston by the Center for Coastal Studies' entanglement response team on Monday.



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A tuna fishing boat called the center's Marine Animal Entanglement Response team when they saw two whales swimming in the Stellwagen Bank, a federal marine sanctuary located at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay.

The rope could potentially injure Mudskipper or entangle her calf to her, as the 7-month-old calf attempted to nurse on her mother while entangled.

The team sent a small inflatable boat from its response vessel and continued to add large floats to the entanglement. The process finally drew the entangling rope from the whale's mouth and the pair quickly swam away.

Mudskipper and her calf are expected to have a speedy recovery.

According to the Center for Coastal Studies website, this was the third whale disentanglement in three weeks by the MAER team. The center urges boats to report entanglement sightings and to keep a safe distance.

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