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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkNews from Around Banderas Bay | December 2009 

Fishermen Rescue Whale on Banderas Bay
email this pageprint this pageemail usJason Lavender - PVNN
December 29, 2009

On December 24th a group of local fishermen assisted Navy marine ecologists in the rescue of a humpback whale in Banderas Bay.
On December 24th, we went out on a fishing expedition, but we only caught four small black tuna so we started heading back in early. We saw lots of whales while fishing, but then, as we got closer to the harbor, we saw a baby whale jumping radically out of the water.

I commented that it was odd that we did not see the mother for a long time given that it is very rare to see such a small baby alone. Finally, I saw the mother surface and noticed that it had a lot of lines tangled on its body.

I pointed it out to Phil Kerr, our fishing guide, and we took a closer look to confirm it was tangled. We could see all the lines on its body and under the whale we could see that it was dragging a big white blob of nylon fishing net. The mama was breathing very heavily and you could see it was near exhaustion.

Phil immediately called Petra, his professional ecologist son in law, who then called Lalo the Navy's Marine ecologist. Lalo rushed out on a marine launch with a grappling hook tied to three large buoys. He hooked the grappling hook on to the net along with the buoys.

With this they were able to follow the buoys to see which way the mama whale was swimming so they could wait ahead of it when it surfaced. This way they were able to jump in right next to her and cut the lines and free her from the net. We were very relieved to free the mama, not only for her sake but also for the baby, given that it was so small that it was clearly still dependent on her mama’s milk.

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the included information for research and educational purposes • m3 © 2009 BanderasNews ® all rights reserved • carpe aestus