The Department of Agriculture & Fisheries is reporting that a male humpback whale entangled in a net in the Sir Francis Drake’s Channel this week has now been freed.
The department indicated the whale was freed after somehow shaking the net loose.
“We were concerned that the whale could drown from being caught in the net … Ghost fishing nets and other marine debris can result in the death of marine animals, so we have to be vigilant about what we discard in the ocean,” said Agriculture & Fisheries’ Ken Pemberton.
The department said whales frequent the warm waters of the Caribbean during the winter months to mate and give birth.
“Several sightings have been reported,” it further indicated.
Meanwhile, Agriculture & Fisheries said male humpback in questioned was reportedly in the company of a female and her calf and did not appear in distress when last seen.
Marine authorities first received reports of the the entangled whale south of Nanny Cay, Tortola on Monday, April 12.
Dr Shannon Gore of the Association of Reef Keepers was said to be a key responders who quickly arranged with Blue Water Divers to mobilise a vessel to search for the mammal.
“The divers were able to see that there was about 50 feet of line left on the whale. The whale went into shallow water to try and rid itself of the line by rubbing itself on the seafloor. But it was not in a position that it could not move.” She added. “It is possible that the line drifted in from the open ocean but if you do see a large patch of debris in the water let us know. We can be reached at 496-7998,” she stated.
Government has extended thanks to Dr Gore, Husky Salvage of Blue Water Divers, and Chris Juredin of Commercial Dive Services and VISAR.