Crews suc­cess­fully dis­en­tan­gle hump­back whale

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - NEWS -

Crews have suc­cess­fully dis­en­tan­gled a hump­back whale that got caught in ma­te­rial in wa­ters off New Jersey.

The ju­ve­nile whale — es­ti­mated to be more than 30-feet-long — was freed Wed­nes­day. It had been spot­ted in the Rar­i­tan and Sandy Hook bays in re­cent days.

Of­fi­cials say the whale had a piece of gill net — a type of net­ting used in com­mer­cial fish­ing — wrapped around its mouth, form­ing a closed loop around its blow­hole.

Nu­mer­ous re­spon­ders — in­clud­ing fed­eral, state and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and a dis­en­tan­gle­ment team from the non­profit Cen­ter for Coastal Stud­ies — worked to­gether Wed­nes­day to free the whale. They used a cus­tom-de­signed hook-shaped knife, at­tached to a roughly 15-foot-long pole, to slice the piece of net­ting.

The whale was not harmed.

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