Marine Life Studies Gray Whale Entanglement Update
April 28, 2012 by Peggy Stap
Latest Report as of 4/28/12
Entangled gray whale is heading up the coast of California. Last known sighting of this gray whale was on Tuesday, April 24 South of Gorda, California heading north close to shore. At that time the animal had 2 white poly balls and one red poly ball trailing that were attached in Southern California to help sight the animal.
Extensive efforts over the past few days have yielded no sighting of the entangled whale. This has increased concern that the whale may have expired. Going forward, searching will continue by various whale watching boats and a couple of marine mammal research projects working in the area including Marine Life Studies research project.
The last aerial survey was on Friday, April 27, 2012. Sighting conditions were good. They counted 30 gray whales (many cow/calf pairs), 4 humpbacks, 1 minke whale and scads (that's a scientific unit of measure) of Risso's dolphins. The flight crew said they could see the herd of Risso's swimming underwater.
It is possible the grapple hooks chaffed the trailing line enough to cut the line so may not have them attached any longer which would make sighting this animal again very difficult. Below are photos of the animal without the polyballs.
Please call (877) SOS-WHALE immediately as the Whale Entanglement Team is ready to respond once we receive a re-sight on this gray whale. Please standby the animal if possible but do not approach closer than 200 yards.
Learn more about the Whale Entanglement Team (W.E.T.)