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NOAA frees whale once entangled in 2,500 feet of marine debris

The whale was first spotted off Kauai on Jan. 16.
The whale was first spotted off Kauai on Jan. 16.(NOAA Fisheries Permit #18786-06)
Published: Jan. 31, 2022 at 5:59 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A humpback whale that was recently seen tangled in 2,500 feet of cord is now swimming freely off Kauai.

The humpback whale was first spotted Jan. 16.

NOAA officials said the whale was emaciated and suffering from patches of whale lice which were worsened by the line.

“While the whale’s future is unknown, it hopefully is under less stress and has a better chance of survival now that we’ve removed the majority of the line. Responders will continue to study the gear to determine its identity and possible origin,” NOAA said in an online update.

About 15 feet of line remains embedded at the back of the whale’s mouth, according to NOAA.

Entanglements involving the mouth are particularly dangerous as they often prevent the animal from eating.

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