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Video: Italian Coast Guard Rescues Entangled Whale

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Video still courtesy Guardia Costiera

By The Maritime Executive 06-28-2020 06:53:28

On Friday, the Italian Coast Guard helped to free a sperm whale from entanglement in an illegal fishing net off the Aeolian Islands.

On the morning of June 26, the Coast Guard station in Lipari received a report from a group of biologists from a conservation center on the island of Filicudi, who said that they had spotted a whale in distress.

While under way on a trip to Stromboli, the biologists spotted an entangled whale about six miles northeast of the island of Salina. The 30-foot-long whale had fishing net wrapped completely around its tail. 

The Lipari Coast Guard dispatched a patrol boat to the area with a team of local divers. The divers spent about one hour cutting the net free from the whale's tail fin. Their efforts were successful, and the whale swam off to rejoin a group of three others which had been waiting at a distance.

Isole Eolie, la #GuardiaCostiera impegnata nella tutela della fauna marina e nel contrasto alla pesca illegale....

Posted by Corpo delle Capitanerie di Porto - Guardia Costiera on Sunday, June 28, 2020

The fishing net was recovered and confiscated as illegal fishing gear.

Separately, the agency detected and intercepted a fishing boat which was recovering 2500 meters of illegal drift net at a position 12 miles south of Alicudi - roughly 50 miles from the position where the entangled whale was sighted. The master of the fishing boat faces a fine of several thousand euros and the illegal net was seized.