Minke whale tangled in fishing net off St. Carols dies
Locals tow remains to sea
A minke whale of massive proportions lay dead in the harbour of St. Carols Wednesday morning, Sept. 6, tangled in a herring net.
As fishermen worked to untangle the whale and pull it back to the ocean, people began driving down to the harbour to witness the spectacle.
People along the St. Carols coast noticed a Minke whale blowing far off the shores Sunday evening, Sept. 3. The whale had gotten ensnared in local fisherman Dale Richards’ herring net, likely that night.
Chris Rose, who fishes with Richards, says when they came to see their sunken nets they knew the whale was tangled and unable to escape.
“Dale said in his 45 years of fishing, it was the first time he had seen a whale get caught in a net like this,” Rose said.
But the elements worked against the harvesters and they were unable to try to release the whale until Wednesday. A long period of rain and strong winds made a boat trip to gather the nets and free the whale too dangerous.
“We would’ve liked to have gotten him out sooner, but we had to wait for the weather to die down,” Rose said.
As the net was brought in to the harbour carrying the carcass, local men gathered their waders and headed out into the ocean shore. Having been caught two days earlier, the stench of the dead whale was strong.
The net was tangled around the whale’s tail, so the men had to cut off the tail’s fins to release it.
At first, a single rope was tied around the whale’s tail and pulled by a truck near the wharf. It only sent the whale spinning, so they tried tying the rope to its front fin — a manoeuvre that resulted in even less success. After tying two ropes to its tail, the whale was successfully dragged to the wharf.
The rope was subsequently tied to a boat, and the fishermen drove the whale off into the deep Atlantic water to be released.
With a population of roughly 64 people, the community came together to lend a hand and bear witness to the rare sight of the minke whale.
Dale Richards heard Sunday evening, Sept. 3, that a whale had likely gotten ensnared in his herring net, after the whale was seeing blowing in the area by locals. Due to rough weather, the whale was not released until Wednesday morning, Sept. 6.
The minke whale was pulled to the wharf by rope and truck, and then brought out into deeper water by boat.