Marine experts are asking the public's help in keeping an eye out for a young humpback whale entangled in nets around the San Juan Islands in Puget Sound.
Orca Network talked with experts with the Large Whale Entanglement Response Network and SR3, who say the young humpback appears to be ensnared in a gill net. They believe and hope the net will shed on its own, but add it's difficult for teams to remove it because it's hard to get a good grasp and pull it off.
"But they would like to CONTINUE MONITORING and TRACKING this whale, so please report any sightings as per below. They are hoping to get 1) underside fluke photos for ID purposes, 2) be able to get their team out with the whale (if/when weather/seas are safe) to further assess and to get an underwater camera around it to see if there is more line on the whale that isn't visible above the surface," Orca Network wrote on their Facebook page Saturday.
If you see this whale, please report it immediately to the Entangled Whale Hotline, 1-877-SOS-WHALE (1-877-767-9425). Stay with the whale (if it's safe to do so) and take as many photos as possible (of all body parts if possible, of gear and any gear trailing behind the whale). If you can report latitude/longitude location of the whale to the hotline, that is also helpful.
In Canadian waters the BC Marine Mammal hotline is 1-800-465-4336.