10-meter sperm whale trapped in illegal fishing net, the video of the rescue – Il Tempo


On the morning of June 26, the Lipari Coast Guard was alerted by the biologists of the turtle recovery center of the island of Filicudi to the presence of a specimen of sperm whale in evident difficulty in the waters of the Aeolian Archipelago. The four women were sailing towards the island of Stromboli, when, about six miles north-east of the island of Salina, they spotted a male sperm whale about ten meters long on the surface with the codal fin completely wrapped in a fishing net. The Coast Guard of Lipari thus sent the patrol boat CP 322 to the area, which, having checked the critical conditions of the cetacean, implemented all the procedures necessary to secure the mammal. A team of local divers then arrived on board a boat of the Coast Guard, who after an hour of hard work at about two meters deep, managed to totally remove the net from the animal’s codal fin, leaving it free to move.

After the release of the cetacean, the sperm whale was monitored by the Coast Guard in order to verify any abnormal behavior and left free to rejoin three other specimens that had been waiting for it at a distance for all the time. The fishing net recovered aboard the Coast Guard unit was confiscated as an illegal fishing gear. In the archipelago of the Aeolian islands, the same day was marked by a further important environmental protection activity and, in particular, by the contraction of illegal fishing. Thanks to a joint activity carried out with its own air and naval means, the Coast Guard intercepted 12 miles south of Alicudi, a fishing boat intent on recovering 2500 meters of illegal drift net with a 45 cm mesh opening. The captain of the fishing vessel was charged with an administrative penalty of several thousand euros and the illegal network was seized and transhipped on the CP322 patrol boat, which returned to the port of Lipari at dawn. (Coast Guard Source: Vista Agency / Alexander Jakhnagiev)

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