Feds to resume most whale disentanglement efforts
Jul. 18, 2017
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it has reviewed safety protocols and is allowing its whale-disentanglement teams to resume most rescue operations.
The agency had suspended efforts to free whales tangled in fishing line last week after a Canadian rescuer was killed by a right whale after freeing it. NOAA said Tuesday that it will begin disentangling whales again, except right whales.
North Atlantic right whales are among the most endangered marine mammals in the world. NOAA says the whales' "unpredictable behavior" can be "particularly challenging during rescue attempts."
NOAA says it plans to continue working closely with whale experts to review all rescue protocols for large whales.
Veteran whale rescuer Joe Howlett died on July 10 after freeing a whale off New Brunswick, Canada.