The search is underway for a tangled and injured humpback whale in waters somewhere off the southern California coast. He has been seen several times since Wednesday.
Stranding experts say the more time goes by, the worse things get for this humpback whale. It’s been in the SoCal zone since Sunday. Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) attempted to install a tracking device there on Wednesday, but the whale did not cooperate.
Captain Kevin Nguyen says there will be many pairs of eyes on the water, looking for the now extinct juvenile whale.
“We are looking for all kinds of wild animals to educate the passengers,” Nguyen said.
He was aboard a whale watching boat Tuesday when the whale was spotted about five miles from the Port of Los Angeles.
“When we first saw the whale, it blew, then we saw a buoy attached, so we informed NOAA,” he added.
Authorities say the buoy is connected to crab fishing gear. They think the animal dragged him from Washington State … over a thousand miles away.
“The concern is that in reality, if this whale is not able to come out on its own, this whale will die from this entanglement,” said Justin Viezbicke, who works with NOAA.
Boats from San Pedro to Dana Point are now on high alert. They will coordinate to try to find the injured whale across miles and miles of ocean water.
“The tricky thing about this is the whale doesn’t know we’re trying to help it, and it’s going to be scared, so it’s going to try to dive deeper with the equipment,” said Jessica Roame of Newport Landing Whale. Watching. .
It is believed that the fishing gear actually holds the fin of the whale, making it even more difficult for the whale to dive for food.
Experts say they rely on these whale watching boats to alert them to any wildlife that may be in danger.
The search will continue from sunrise to sunset.
Humpback whales are here year round foraging for food off the west coast and officials say commercial fisheries are not trying to catch whales, but are hoping to find out where and how the crab was placed. in water.