In a remarkable act of bravery, a team of marine biologists and rescue workers successfully freed a 12-meter-long humpback whale ᴄᴀᴜɢʜᴛ in an ɪʟʟᴇɢᴀʟ drift net off the Balearic island of Mallorca.
The incident highlights the ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀs of ɪʟʟᴇɢᴀʟ fishing practices and the importance of rescuing marine animals in ᴅɪsᴛʀᴇss.
The Third Time A Humpback Whale Has Been Recorded In The Waters Around The Balearics.
During the rescue, Gigi Torras, one of the divers, said this was her “best” birthday present.
She also thought the enormous beast had made a small show of respect for her.
She described it to Reuters: “It was like out of this world. It was incredible, just incredible.”
The sighting was just the third time a humpback whale had been recorded in the waters around the Balearics.
The Palma de Mallorca Aquarium marine rescue center was called in after a ship spotted the ᴅɪsᴛʀᴇssᴇᴅ whale approximately three miles (4.83 km) off the island of Mallorca.
They found the whale ᴇɴᴛᴀɴɢʟᴇᴅ in the crimson netting, unable to open its ᴍᴏᴜᴛʜ.
After early attempts to ᴄᴜᴛ the ɴᴇᴛ from a boat were unsuccessful, divers from the Albatros and Skualo diving centers joined the effort and dove into the water for a ᴘᴇʀɪʟᴏᴜs 45-minute operation to remove the ᴍᴇsʜ with their ᴋɴɪᴠᴇs.
Torras, The Owner Of The Albatrol Diving Ceter, Said:
“The first ten seconds, she got a bit ɴᴇʀᴠᴏᴜs, you know, like bubbles everywhere, but then I don’t know, call me ᴄʀᴀᴢʏ, but I think she knew we were there to help her, and she just relaxed, and we started working from the front of her ᴍᴏᴜᴛʜ backward.”
“We kept ᴄᴜᴛᴛɪɴɢ and ᴄᴜᴛᴛɪɴɢ, and she kind of gave a little ᴡɪɢɢʟᴇ to get herself ᴏᴜᴛ of it,” Torras said.
The animal lingered with the four divers to gather her strength and even offered what appeared to be “a little thank you sign” before swimming off.
We Must Join Hands To Protect The Marine Environment!
The successful rescue of the humpback whale is a testament to the dedication and expertise of the marine biologists and rescue workers involved.
It also highlights the need for sᴛʀɪᴄᴛᴇʀ ᴇɴꜰᴏʀᴄᴇᴍᴇɴᴛ of ʟᴀᴡs and ʀᴇɢᴜʟᴀᴛɪᴏɴs to ᴘʀᴇᴠᴇɴᴛ ɪʟʟᴇɢᴀʟ fishing practices and protect marine animals.
ᴅʀɪꜰᴛ ɴᴇᴛs were ᴏᴜᴛʟᴀᴡᴇᴅ by the United Nations 30 years ago because of the large number of other marine animals they also ᴄᴀᴛᴄʜ and the fish intended to be ᴄᴀᴜɢʜᴛ.
Unfortunately, ɪɴᴄɪᴅᴇɴᴛs like this are all too common in our oceans. Thousands of marine animals are ᴄᴀᴜɢʜᴛ in ꜰɪsʜɪɴɢ ɴᴇᴛs and other debris every year, ᴄᴀᴜsɪɴɢ them to sᴜꜰꜰᴇʀ ɪɴᴊᴜʀɪᴇs or even ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ.
We must continue to raise awareness about the ᴅᴀɴɢᴇʀs ᴘᴏsᴇᴅ by these practices and work to ᴘʀᴇᴠᴇɴᴛ them from happening.