Whale freed from fishing gear off Sandy Hook, N.J., coast

NEW YORK-The humpback whale entangled in fishing gear was freed this afternoon off the coast of Sandy Hook, N.J., at approximately 4:39 p.m.

“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has no plans to track the animal since it’s been freed because there’s nothing more we can do,” said Teri Frady, a representative from NOAA. “It does have serious injuries, but it is much better off than being anchored in the shipping lane.”

The whale was freed after an entanglement team from the Center for Coastal Studies based in Glouchester, Mass., cut the fishing gear from whale, which was wrapped around its tail.

The Coast Guard Cutter Penobscot Bay, a 140-foot icebreaking tug home ported in Bayonne, N.J., returned to base after standing guard over the animal throughout the night.

For more information regarding marine mammal stranding and entanglement, visit the Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program MMHSRP website at: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/health/

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