Tangled whale reaches Juneau waters

The humpback whale that was tangled up in a gill net near Petersburg earlier this week has made its way to Juneau waters.

The humpback whale is tangled in a tight wrap of netting, visible behind the blowhole. This photo was taken Wednesday in Juneau waters.
(Photo courtesy John Moran/ NOAA)

National Marine Fisheries Service spokewoman Julie Speegle said a disentanglement team was out Wednesday observing the whale. Today, the three person team is out trying to cut it free.

The whale has a buoy attached to it for spotting, as well as a tracker. It was in Stephens Passage on Thursday. Speegle didn’t want to disclose its specific location, for fear of people chasing it.

But with the Labor Day weekend, sightings are especially likely. Officials are asking boaters not to intervene and to stay clear of the whale, both for its well-being and their own.

“There is also a large amount of gill net in the water that’s attached to the whale,” Speegle said. “And that could pose a hazard to vessels as well. So if you spot this whale, you’ll want to keep your distance.”

As of last report this morning, the whale had turned and was headed south.

(Check back later for updates.)

Recent headlines