Desperate search for ‘disoriented’ humpback calf entangled in fishing lines and buoys at sea
- Entangled young 7-8 meter humpback whale spotted south of Port Macquarie
- Initially seen to the south – against migration routes – but it turned to the north
- Researchers want the public to help report the move its
Whale researchers desperately try to track the movements of a entangled juvenile humpback whale after it was trapped in buoys and fishing lines.
The juvenile whale, about 7-8 meters in length, is believed to be offshore from Crescent Head, about 40 km north of Port Macquarie in NSW and following a line and four buoys.
The Cetacean Rescue and Research Organization is asking for help tracking the whale through social media and its phone line.
ORRCA asks the public along the coast north of Port Macquarie to report any sighting of an entangled juvenile humpback whale (pictured above) to the rescue hotline at 9415 3333
It was reported Tuesday morning as 210 meters offshore just south of Port Macquarie and moving south, but it has turned and is heading north.
Humpback whales usually migrate north to mate and calve from June, but the timing may vary depending on “water temperature, sea ice, predation risk, abundance of prey and the location of their breeding grounds,” the environmental department said.
An ORRCA spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia that the whales can become disoriented if they get entangled and go in the wrong direction.
“ORRCA asks the public, if you are along the shoreline in this area, please monitor your sightings and report your sightings to the ORRCA Rescue Hotline at 9415 3333,” the group posted on Facebook.
“It’s important not to approach or try to disentangle a whale. All whales and dolphins are protected in Australian waters.’
Humpback whales separate from their mothers for about seven months, and the entangled whale in question is thought to be traveling alone, possibly trying to join a pack of adults.
They live to be about 45 years old.
Up to 40,000 humpback whales will now head north along Australia’s east coast – migrating to the southern Whitsundays area where they mate and calve
An ORRCA spokesperson said it is not clear what kind of line the whale is in.
Humpback whales thrive in Australian waters, and about 40,000 whales are expected to migrate north to mate.
Their destinations are believed to be along the Great Barrier Reef, centered around the southern Whitsundays area.