California rescuers free humpback snagged by fishing anchors

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CRESCENT CITY, Calif. (AP) – Rescuers off California have freed a badly tangled humpback whale caught by fishing anchors that were dragging it to the ocean floor.

A whale-entanglement team, fishermen and others rescued the whale Tuesday. Team leader Pieter Folkens says freeing the whale took nearly eight hours of cutting lines, buoys and anchors.

The trapped whale was spotted two miles off Northern California last week. Folkens says the animal had two fishing lines running through its mouth, up to eight fishing buoys wrapped around a fin and fishing anchors pulling its tail straight down.

Spokesman Michael Milstein says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will try to identify the shrimping vessels believed responsible for the lines. It was the seventh instance this year of humpbacks caught in fishing gear off the West Coast.

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