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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
Mother and baby humpback whale rescued near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
What started out as a normal morning of whale watching out on the Bay of Banderas turned into a rescue mission to release two whales entangled in an illegal fishing net.
Around 11:00 AM, on January 28th, 2010, a tour boat on the way to Islas Marietas spotted a humpback whale and her calf appearing to struggle and behave abnormally on the top of the ocean's surface. After approaching the whales cautiously, the boat crew confirmed that the whales were indeed entangled in a giant fishing net and would need to be rescued.
Vallarta Adventures, an eco-tour provider in Puerto Vallarta, heard the radio call about the distressed whales and their team of Marine Animal Rescue staff immediately sprang into action to assist in the rescue and recovery of the trapped whales.
En route, the Vallarta Adventure's team met up with the Mexican Navy, where Lieutenant Luis Vidal boarded the Vallarta Adventures' boat to assist in liberating the pair.
Once they reached the distressed whales they were able to asses that the mother was entangled from tip to tail in the illegal fishing net and that her calf was also becoming entangled as it swam closer to its mother.
With all hands and arms into the water at once, everyone began grabbing the fishing net, ropes and buoys that encompassed the pair. Once the whales started to get untangled from the net, they began to move about which made the effort to free them completely even more difficult and dangerous.
With persistence and quick action, the staff and Naval officer quickly removed the offending net from the whales and within an hour, the pair was safe and free, gloriously swimming off into the Bay.
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Issues/Bycatch / discards