Fishing rope cut from endangered whale off Georgia

February 20, 2014 by Russ Bynum

Wildlife officials say they cut away more than 280 feet of commercial fishing line being dragged by an endangered right whale off the Georgia coast.

Clay George, a marine mammal biologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, said Thursday officials had to leave the whale with at least 20 feet of the thick rope still tangled in its mouth. He said there's "a fighting chance" the whale would be able to free itself.

The right whale was spotted Sunday offshore near Jacksonville, Fla., and got close enough to cut away most of the rope Monday about 40 miles offshore from Darien, Ga.

Experts estimate only about 450 still exist. Entanglement in commercial fishing gear is considered one of the greatest threats to their survival.

Explore further: Crew plans to cut rope to free Hawaii whale

Related Stories

Crew plans to cut rope to free Hawaii whale

December 4, 2009

(AP) -- Marine sanctuary officials planned to return to Hawaii waters with modified equipment Friday to try to cut loose a young humpback whale entangled in several hundred yards of heavy plastic rope.

Killing whales by design and default

February 14, 2014

While countries such as Japan, Norway, and Iceland often are criticized for their commercial whaling practices, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) marine biologist Michael Moore points out how the majority of nations ...

Recommended for you

Sixth sense: How do we sense electric fields?

October 13, 2015

A variety of animals are able to sense and react to electric fields, and living human cells will move along an electric field, for example in wound healing. Now a team lead by Min Zhao at the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative ...

A better way to read the genome

October 9, 2015

UConn researchers have sequenced the RNA of the most complicated gene known in nature, using a hand-held sequencer no bigger than a cell phone.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.