Rescuers Cut Fishing Line From Struggling Juvenile Humpback Whale

An emaciated juvenile humpback whale in the waters off Maui has a better chance at survival Sunday after a crew of rescuers managed to cut away much of the 100 feet of fishing line wrapped about its left pectoral fin and mouth.

Unfortunately, the crew was unable to remove all the line tangled in its mouth in the rescue mission last week. But the young whale swam better and moved more quickly after its fin was freed from a tangle of line.

“When the flipper came free, the whale sped up, its tail got higher and it started moving better,” Ed Lyman of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “All that was promising.”

But, he added, “We were defeated on the mouth again. We pulled, but you can’t pull too hard.”