On Saturday, the SA Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) volunteers were activated following reports of a whale carcass entangled in fishing nets at a fishing boat off the shore of Port Elizabeth.

NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew were activated and SAWDN volunteers accompanied three NSRI sea rescue crafts, to help free the carcass using the specialised cutting equipment.

On being released from fishing rope, but still entangled in fishing nets, the carcass of the 11 meter Brydes Whale was towed to Coega harbour, with the permission of the harbour authorities, where an NSRI sea rescue vehicle assisted in the recovery of the carcass to a landing zone where the remainder of fishing nets were cut free of the whale and all rope and fishing nets were recovered.

NSRI sea rescue craft have towed the whale carcass to deep sea where the carcass was released.

SAWDN commends NSRI for the assistance rendered in this lengthy operation, the Coega Port Authorities for their assistance and the crew of the Purse Seiner (the fishing boat in who’s nets the carcass was) who assisted.

Samples from the carcass were collected for the Department of Environment and marine scientists.

The SAWDN covers the whole South African coastline and aims to free any entangled whales using specialised equipment and is comprised of trained volunteers from a very wide variety of professional associations and groups.

Picture: Facebook/Sea Rescue PE

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