VIDEO: Humpback whale rescued off Texada Island after getting caught in fishing gear

(Supplied by DFO)

A large mammal in the Strait of Georgia caught in a bit of a tangle is free after getting help from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

The department got reports on Oct. 14 that the humpback whale was caught in a yellow buoy, primarily used in prawn fishing, off of Texada Island.

A video shows the whale being rescued with efforts from the DFO, RCMP vessels and officers, commercial tug operators, BC Ferry captains, Nanaimo fishery officers, local whale watch companies and local citizens who reported and worked with the department on the water.

The fishing gear was successfully removed from the whale after what appeared to be an intense situation.

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DFO communications advisor Lara Sloan says the conservation and protection of marine mammals is a top priority.

“Debris is a real problem for marine wildlife,” said Sloan. “The public can help prevent entanglements by cutting packing material, banding, rope and other looped material before disposing of it, and by not disposing of these materials in the marine environment.”

The DFO encourages anyone to report a marine mammal in distress in Canadian waters to the Marine Mammal Incident Reporting Hotline at 1-800-465-4336.