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Icelandic whale watch community rallies to assist entangled humpback whale

We’re currently following efforts by local whale watch companies and the coastguard to assist an entangled humpback whale in Faxafloi Bay, near Reykjavik, Iceland. The whale appears to be badly entangled in fishing gear and unfortunately, poor weather and sea conditions have further complicated rescue efforts.

WDC has been helping to facilitate contact between Elding Whale Watching, IceWhale and others working at the scene, and entanglement experts in the US and UK. Efforts to approach a distressed whale sufficiently closely so as to be able to attempt to disentangle it are naturally fraught with difficulties and can be extremely dangerous. It is, therefore, essential that experts are available to provide the right advice.

The various stakeholders are due to meet today to discuss next moves and everyone is hoping that sea conditions may improve over the weekend. Meantime, the whale watch vessels are observing the whale’s behaviour, taking photos and video footage and working out what type of fishing gear is involved and how and where it is attached to the whale. The whale has been eating, which is a good sign.

We will provide updates and of course hope for a positive outcome. What is already heartening is that so many people are trying their best to assist this whale and in so doing, are sending out a clear message in support of live whales and whale conservation in the waters around Iceland.

Support our campaign to see Iceland made famous as a Whale Nation not a whaling nation