A sad scene unfolded at Millers Point on Monday, June 10 when a Bryde’s whale swimming just off the shore became tangled in octopus trap ropes and died.
The whale’s carcass floated to the surface of the water and had to be hauled to shore.
For many years, ropes used to trap octopi in the False Bay are have posed a problem to local marine life, especially whales, with a number of these majestic animals getting trapped and sometimes dying as a result.
Recently, on Saturday, June 8, NSRI was activated to disentangle a young Humpback calf at Millers Point which had also become entangled in octopus ropes.
Although this whale calf’s story ended well, the same cannot be said for the Bryde’s whale.
The Bryde’s whale reportedly belonged to a relatively small population of non-migratory whales that inhabit local waters.
“There are a number of traps all over False Bay and initially a permit to collect octopus was given to Garry Nel and data from his catches was to be given to DAFF to collate and use as a basis to which they could make “informed” decisions,” says local Allison Thomson.
Saddened locals watching the whale being recovered gathered around the poor marine mammal after it had been hoisted ashore.
“It is time for locals to start making a noise about this outrageous practice of having traps all over false bay that are not monitored and are causing whale entanglements and deaths. I popped down to Millers Point this morning to witness the recovery of the carcass – a very sad scene indeed,” said Allison Thomson.
Pictures: Allison Thomson/Facebook