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Feds to Resume Most Whale Disentanglement Efforts

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it will resume most of its whale disentanglement operations. However, rescues operations for entangled right whales, a highly endangered species, will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on circumstances and the availability of responders with the highest level of training.

The agency is singling out right whales because of what NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Chris Oliver says is the unpredictable behavior of right whales which can be particularly challenging during rescue attempts.

NOAA Fisheries suspended its disentanglement response operations to review its safety protocols following the death of a trained Canadian rescuer who was killed by a right whale that he had freed.

Members of the Large Whale Disentanglement Network are being provided additional training to emphasize key safety and other protocol measures.