CAN YOU HELP?: NPWS is asking coastal communities to help locate three whales.
CAN YOU HELP?: NPWS is asking coastal communities to help locate three whales. Marc Stapelberg

Urgent call to locate entangled whales off coast

COMMUNITIES along the coast are being asked to help locate three entangled whales as specialist teams race to save the marine mammals.

According to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, the entangled whales have so far been spotted north of Port Macquarie, Forster and Crescent Head.

NPWS spokesperson, Susan Crocetti, said that people on any of the coastal headlands or on water crafts may come across these entangled whales and should immediately report the location and direction of travel.

"A Humpback calf was reported by a fisherman later yesterday afternoon as tangled just off Point Plomer north of Port Macquarie with up to five white buoys trailing behind it as it attempted to travel north,” she said.

"A bit further south an adult whale was seen off Forster with ropes wrapped around its body but no floats and off Crescent Head onshore observers spotted an adult whale dragging a single white buoy.

"Unfortunately, the timing and locations have proved too difficult for us to mount any sort of effective disentanglement. The sooner we relocate these animals the quicker we can potentially mount an operation to remove entanglements.”

Anyone who observes an entangled whale is asked to keep visual contact and capture any images.

"So far this season we have seen eight entangled whales. We will see more before the season is out I'm sure as last year's record was a total of 21,” Ms Crocetti said.

According to NPWS, migrating whales occasionally become entangled in fishing gear and other ocean debris.

Entangled whales tire quickly and often perish.

NPWS maintains a number of specialised whale disentanglement teams who undertake the tricky task of removing entanglement.

To report entangled whales please call the Enviroline on 131 555 or ORRCA on 02 9415 3333



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