Taken from the Times Globe, Monday,
elude searchers, rescuers
Movie-star whale not
anxious to leave its N.B.-built haven
By MONTAGUE McAULIFFE
Globe staff writer
Two entangled right whales were
spotted in the Bay of Fundy on Friday and Saturday.
Deborah Tobin, a public education co-ordinator with East Coast Ecosystems, said
one of the whales was still missing yesterday afternoon, while the second
continues to elude rescuers, Ms. Tobin said.
Explanations for why rescuers haven't found the first whale could be that it
sank to the bottom of the bay or simply left the area. Choppy water cancelled
their search yesterday.
When searchers spotted the first
whale from a Coast Guard helicopter Friday, it was moving slowly and appeared
to be getting pulled down by ropes and buoys.
like the gear was picked up in the Bay of Fundy, judging by the way it was
acting," Ms. Tobin said, from her Freeport, N.S. office yesterday afternoon.
She said rescue teams were searching the Grand Marian
Basin near the centre of the bay when they came across the second whale.
This whale became tangled somewhere along the East Coast
of the United States about five weeks ago, Ms. Tobin said, and there have been
previous attempts to free it.
It appears healthy,
despite being entangled in the fishing gear, Ms. Tobin said, noting that the
whale swam up the East Coast.
The East Coast Ecosystems
rescue team tried to free the 15-metre, 43,360- kilogram whale Saturday without
"If you have a large healthy whale who doesn't
want you to get near him, you can't," Ms. Tobin said. "This whale was diving
for 12 minutes at a time and coming up in different locations and really
working hard to avoid us."
Another obstacle facing the
rescuers is the short length of the gear the second whale is tangled in. The
shorter the net or equipment, the more difficult it is to catch.
She said the gear may even have been cut in previous
attempts to catch the mammal, but that the best way to catch an entangled whale
is to actually attach more gear to it.
"We were not able
to get close enough to do anything about the tanglement."
The extra gear also slows the animal down, she added,
noting that this mammal is being tracked and that other attempts to free it
will be made.
There are fewer than 300 right whales known
to exist, most of which come to the Bay of Fundy every summer to feed.