AN entangled humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) was reported to be travelling towards Plett by the crew of Knysna whale-watching company Ocean Odyssey on Monday.
Said local marine expert Dr Gwenith Penry: “The whale has a severe entanglement of rope and net around the tail stock, and a nasty wound behind the dorsal fin where the rope has been chaffing/rubbing at its body, probably for a very long time.
“I have reported it to the SA Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) and local trained personnel are on standby to launch a disentanglement mission if the whale is spotted. We have several trained people to deal with large whale disentanglements; most are part of NSRI Station 14, as well as Henk Niewoudt from CapeNature.
“If anyone comes across the animal at sea they must NOT attempt to cut it free, as this is extremely dangerous and can make the entanglement worse. Call Plett NSRI on 082 990 5975 at once and try to remain with the animal until responders arrive. The NSRI have specially designed cutting tools for whale entanglements.”
She added that Monday was a sad day for our ocean giants, as a Bryde's whale was killed in fishing gear in False Bay. Visit http://www.nsri.org.za/tag/sawdn/ for additional information.