Featured Image Credit: Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute via Florida Today
By Emily Persico
In an inspirational display of teamwork, a calf tangled up in trash was freed from the constrictive grip of rope and fishing line.
Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute was the leader in this mission. They are a nonprofit with a location in Melbourne Beach, Florida, perfectly positioned to monitor this young calf over several days as the weather calmed enough for them to reach it.
When they finally reached the calf, it was clear that its fin had been sliced by the line and rope that extended from the calf’s mouth and encircled its whole body. Luckily, the cut was minor enough that the calf could be immediately released following disentanglement, and it swam off with its mother free of human burdens.
In a five-year span, 35 dolphins, 163 sea turtles, and 250 seabirds were entangled in monofilament fishing line in Florida. This line can be recycled and, at the very least, not littered in our oceans.
This calf was lucky, and it could not have been saved without the generous efforts of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium Conservation Field Station, FAU Harbor Brach Oceanographic Institute, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, NOAA, and SeaWorld Orlando. It takes a community of dedicated professionals.
Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute left its Facebook followers with this message: “You can do your part to prevent wildlife entanglements by properly disposing of fishing gear and participating in clean up efforts to remove debris from local waterways.”