From Iceland — Tangled Whale May Not Get Help

Tangled Whale May Not Get Help

Published August 13, 2014

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photo by
Natsha Nandabhiwat

A humpback whale tangled in some fishing nets in Ísafjarðardjúp off the coast of Iceland’s Westfjord region may not receive the help it needs as there is no real system in place to assist it.

Gísli Víkingarsson, a whale expert with Iceland’s Marine Research Institute told Vísir that it is common for dolphins and porpoises to be caught by fishing nets but that it is rare for whales to get tangled in this way.

“[No one has been] trained to deal with this situation up here. Abroad, for example, in America it is very common to train special task forces to go in and undo these knots [and free the animals],” said Gísli, adding that without the resources or trained staff to deal with the situation it remains unclear whether anyone will be able to help the whale, who has been spotted of late with nets and buoys wrapped around its tail.

A few years ago a whale was successfully cut loose after being tangled by some fishing nets off the coast of Iceland, but in this particular case the humpback whale in Ísafjarðardjúp is still able to swim making it harder to help it.



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