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Posted at 8:40 AM ET, 05/ 6/2010

Va. crews attempt to rescue whale

By Washington Post editors

A humpback whale entangled in a gill net eluded would-be rescuers Wednesday afternoon after a tracking buoy came loose in the Chesapeake Bay off Cape Charles, The Virginian-Pilot reports.

The 25-foot whale appeared to be healthy, but a three-person stranding team from the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center could not tell how badly it was entangled, said team member Jeff Thompson.

“When we got there, it was about three miles northwest of Kiptopeke State Park,” Thompson said. “It was swimming strong.”

The team approached in an inflatable boat and attached a GPS tracking buoy to the net trailing behind the animal, but the buoy came loose about 10 minutes later, he said, and the whale submerged.

Thompson said the humpback whale was spotted about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday by a fisherman. Its length was initially estimated at 65 feet, but it turned out to be less than half that size.

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By Washington Post editors  | May 6, 2010; 8:40 AM ET
Categories:  Virginia  
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If the use of gill nets is not illegal, it should be. It's inevitable that these indiscriminate nets will catch all kinds of animals the fishermen don't actually want, who are simply discarded as bycatch and were thus killed for no reason at all. A good reason to skip all seafood you don't catch yourself.

Posted by: VirginiaDad | May 6, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

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