Parks Canada Seeks to Untangle Fin Whale

Entangled Whale (Photo credit: Parks Canada / L. Levesque)
Entangled Whale (Photo credit: Parks Canada / L. Levesque)

Entangled Whale (Photo credit: Parks Canada / L. Levesque)
Entangled Whale (Photo credit: Parks Canada / L. Levesque)

TADOUSSAC, QUEBEC – A Fin Whale has become entangled with fishing gear. Parks Canada, in collaboration with Parcs Québec, the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM) and the Campobello Whale Rescue Team, are continuing their attempts to free the fin whale entangled in fishing gear in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park.

The intervention team is presently trying to attach a transmitter and buoys to the fishing gear in order to track the marine mammal on a continual basis. This device will facilitate the team’s work when approaching the animal during a subsequent intervention. It is also hoped that the weight of the buoy will lead to the disengagement of the fishing gear.

Fin Whale Needs Human Help

Capitaine Crochet, the entangled female fin whale, is well known to tour operators who work in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park. She has been visiting the Marine Park since 1994. Her present level of activity has made the disentanglement operation difficult. Despite efforts undertaken to date, the animal’s future still remains uncertain. However, there is still hope that the operation will succeed.

Fin Whale
The danger to marine mammals entangled in fishing gear is the stress and the potential to harm the whale

Anyone observing the whale is requested to contact the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network at 1 877 722-5346. Everyone is requested to not approach the whale and to remain at a minimum distance of 400 metres. Stress could aggravate her state and compromise the success of the disentanglement operation by rendering the whale boat shy.

The Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park, co-directed by Parcs Québec and Parks Canada, is celebrating its 15th anniversary. It is continuing its efforts to heighten the level of protection of the Park’s ecosystems, while favouring the practice of sustainable activities.

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