Volunteers and members from the South African Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) and NSRI freed a juvenile humpback whale that became entangled in a research rope from the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries on Friday.
According an NSRI statement, the research rope was anchored to the sea five nautical miles north of Dassen Island. The whale was in healthy condition despite the rope wrapped around its Caudal Peduncle (area just before the tail).
The SAWDN consists of trained volunteers on alert from various conservation efforts, research bodies and police services. Established in 2006, the volunteers are called out to free whales caught in ropes off the country’s coast.
The disentanglement operation took 30 minutes, using specialised cutting equipment, after which the whale swam away confidently. “SAWDN volunteers were satisfied that this operation was successful,” said Craig Lambinon, NSRI spokesperson.