Fewer whales winding up entangled in Hawaii debris

Updated: Feb. 16, 2017 at 4:50 AM HST
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WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - The number of whales getting tangled up in fishing gear in Hawaiian waters has been on the decline.

The Maui News reports that no whale entanglements have been reported almost four months into the 2016-17 whale season. Ed Lyman with the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary says that's the longest they've gone without one.

Last season, the first confirmed entanglement was in December 2015. There were a total of six entanglements during the 2015-16 season and 13 the year before.

Lyman says the decrease could be because fewer whales are traveling south to Hawaiian waters. Warmer water in the Northern Pacific may have impacted their food, leaving them with little energy to make the 3,000-mile trip.

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