Maui News

Crews Respond to Whale Entangled in Maui Waters

February 3, 2012, 7:27 AM HST
* Updated February 3, 7:56 AM
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Coast Guard Station Maui at Maalaea, file photo by Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

Coast Guard Crews spent Thursday responding to an entangled whale reported about six miles south of Maalaea Bay.

The incident was reported at around 8 a.m. by the Maui Diamond 2 charter boat. The Coast Guard received reports that an adult male humpback was entangled in fishing net from its head to tail, and was dragging two orange buoys.

The Coast Guard was joined by a marine mammal specialist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in launching a response boat to evaluate and tag the whale. In addition to the response boat, a Coast Guard Auxiliary airplane was also launched to observe from the air.

Coast Guard Station Maui at Maalaea, file photo by Wendy Osher.

“We had a great opportunity here with the Maui Diamond 2 standing-by the animal and we wanted to respond as quickly as possible,” said Eric Roberts, 14th Coast Guard District marine mammal response manager, in a statement.

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“Hopefully, our team will have the ability to tag the whale and gather enough information to allow a team of advanced responders to relocate and free the animal,” Roberts said.

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Mariners who spot distressed or entangled marine mammals should report the sightings to the NOAA Fisheries Hotline (at 888-256-9840), or the US Coast Guard (on channel 16).

***Supporting information courtesy US Coast Guard.

 

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