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Humpback Whale In Biscayne Bay

Discussion in 'Florida Diving' started by Lobstah Slayah, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. Lobstah Slayah

    Lobstah Slayah Manta Ray

    See the story here!
    Helicopters track a Humpback whale off Key Biscayne, near Miami

    There's an unusual sight off the coast of South Florida. A humpback whale, possibly in distress, has been spotted off Bear Cut in Biscayne Bay.

    According to the U.S. Coast Guard, they received a call about the whale which may be entangled in a rope with an anchor or grappling hook attached to it.

    The Coast Guard, along with a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Boat, are already in the vicinity of the whale. A National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration biologist is heading to the scene.

    "NOAA is sending a biologist to take photographs and access the condition of the animal," said Liz Crapo, spokeswoman for NOAA Fisheries Service.

    This may be the same whale that NOAA was following last week off St. Lucie County. At that time, the adult humpback whale had a rope wrapped around its head and dangling from the rope was a large anchor or grappling hook, according to a charter captain who spotted the whale. The adult whale wasn't alone. There was also a calf.

    "I would say it's very rare to see them this far south," said Jamison Smith, a disentanglement coordinator for NOAA Fisheries. "Right now, we have a crew to confirm that it is an entangled animal."

    Smith said once the rescuers can get to the whale they will attach a satellite tag to it. He said rescuers might be limited to what they can do.

    "They're looking to verify and assess the animal's condition. Unfortunately it tapers off as too what they're able to do and authorized to do based on level of experience, equipment available and behavior and environmental conditions," Smith told CBS4.com.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Coast Guard and Border Patrol assisted in the Port St. Lucie sighting but the FWC called off any rescue attempt due to unsteady sea conditions and a lack of qualified personnel trained in handling a whale in distress.

    For more information about humpback whales, click here.

    Anyone who spots an endangered marine mammal in distress is asked to report it to the NOAA hotline at 1-866-755-NOAA (6622).

    CBS4's Jasmine Kripalani contributed to this report.
  2. Scott L

    Scott L Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Palm Beach, FL
    Interesting story. What do you think happened to the boat? :shocked2:
  3. DennisS

    DennisS Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sebastian, FL
    Pretty cool!

    It sounds like the same whale that has been heading south, it was sighted off of Jacksonville, Stuart, St Lucie.

    It may have got wrapped up in some long line gear.
  4. Orlando Eric

    Orlando Eric Instructor, Scuba

    Humpback Whale in St Lucie County.

    I tried to volunteer to freedive around this critter and inspect it however quickly shot down as to experience and training in assisting whales in distress. Apparently the PADI Master Assisting Whales In Distress (MAWD- pronounced Mauled) card is not accepted by Harbor Branch Oceanographic Inst. I'd have done.. it might have killed me but wow freediving with humpbacks.. better than dying on the throne then falling headfirst into the showertub.
  5. Scott L

    Scott L Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Palm Beach, FL
    Good one. :thumb:
  6. Tom Winters

    Tom Winters Instructor, Scuba

    They have SEAL platoons on rebreathers that would love a shot at this - another chance to use the trained dolphins to maybe herd the critter in for one chance at getting the line.
    If they can't do it, and it looks more and more like this whale is not gonna be one who gets to die of whatever passes for cetacean old age, then they'll do a good euthaniziation.
    Most likely won't happen due to logistics, paperwork, and the expense of flying in a couple of special C-17's.
    The water is not that good offshore right now for doing stuff like this, but it it what it is. You want to dive with humpbacks Eric - get out to Hawaii. Nice blue water - 300' viz, and you can see the tigers tracking the calves so you don't blindsided when the pod sounds and you jump to the top of the food chain, and not as the apex predator.
  7. paragshah

    paragshah Guest

    # of Dives:
    Location: India
    It might take a while to untangle this whale just because of its sheer size. But lets be positive and hope it is freed soon.
    One thing worries me is that there are so many cases of Humpback whale getting entangled in some or the other way.

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