Home Sciences This is how a whale trapped in fishing nets has been released...

This is how a whale trapped in fishing nets has been released in Mallorca


Once again, the disused fishing nets show how harmful they can be for marine fauna and the cruel and slow death they cause to many animals who come across them. Thousands of abandoned nets (apart from those that are active) are a death trap over years and decades at the bottom of the sea, and there are more and more. Now, a humpback whale has been released in the waters of Mallorca after being wrapped in one of these nets, when she was about to die.

Thanks to the warning given by the crew of a sailboatwhich mobilized diving clubs in the area and specialists from the Palma Aquarium, was able to set up an operation that sailed to where the animal was, one mile off the coast of Mallorca, near Punta de n’Amer.

The author of the images that accompany these lines, Pedro Riera, points out that the whale was completely wrapped in nets, which prevented it from moving, since it could not activate its pectoral fins, which were totally blocked. She couldn’t even wag her tail. All this condemned her to die shortly.

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Throughout an operation that lasted an hour and a halfthe divers managed to free the whale from the nets that were oppressing it, first from the head and then towards the rest of the body.

“First, the whale was a little restless, but then he let the net be removed. She was understanding that they were helping her,” said Pedro Riera.

The photographer and diver has explained to the local media that the animal “couldn’t get out to breathe, couldn’t hardly move. She was tangled from mouth to tail. From time to time, she moved a little to try to catch her breath, she did it and then she submerged again two or three meters. Every so often she repeated the effort. It was the only thing she could do to keep herself alive.”

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River points out that these types of situations are unfortunately common in Balearic waters in cases of sea turtles and medium-sized cetaceans. As for whales, they are usually seen stranded on the beaches, already dead, but the islands have been shocked to see the agony that this great animal was suffering due to abandoned nets.

The proliferation of these ‘killer networks’as they are also called, has been the object of protests for a long time and, although activities are periodically organized to remove some from the seabed, their quantity is such that they continue to constitute a deadly trap for marine fauna.

Environment section contact: crisisclimatica@prensaiberica.es

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