ENTANGLED GRAY WHALE ALERT:
The third entangled northbound gray whale in two weeks was last seen at 7:35 pm on Saturday, April 1st with another whale, 1 mile off Newport Harbor, by Large Whale Entanglement Team responder Capt. Dave Anderson.
The whale may still be in the Santa Monica Channel, or may have already passed Pt. Dume on its way toward Oxnard. ACS/Orange County naturalist Michael White (Dana Wharf Whale Watch) first photographed it at 3:30pm yesterday, just outside the Dana Point Harbor, and Craig DeWitt (naturalist, Capt. Dave’s Dolphin Safari) photographed it off Laguna Beach.
This unusual entanglement includes large metal framing gear that likely goes through its mouth. The whale was swimming at a speed of 2.7 knots over the four hour sighting period; when encountered, it appeared to be swimming at 3-4 knots, fluking up before longer dives of 5-7 minutes.
If you see this whale, DO NOT approach or try to disentangle it. DO stay with it: take photos, document it, and call NOAA Entangled Whale Hotline 1-877-SOS-WHALE or hail USCG on CH 16.
(Photos by: David Anderson, Craig DeWitt and Michael White). PLEASE SHARE!