In the Aeolian Islands in Italy, it has been a busy week for divers as they try to free a sperm whale trapped in a net. The Italian Coast Guard said in a Facebook post that the animal was first seen on Saturday by onlookers who noticed the distressed whale caught in a net. Through the video which was shared on social media, divers can be seen chopping at the large pink net that is entangled around the whale’s tail.
According to the Italian Coast Guard, several patrols and biologists are actively working to free the whale. The Coast Guard wrote in a Facebook post, translated from Italian that the activity is challenging by the size of the specimen and its state of agitation, which does not allow continuous assistance to be provided in safety.
In a span of a few weeks, this is the second time that a whale was discovered to be entangled in a fishing net. Three weeks ago, in the same waters, the Italian Coast Guard and biologists were called to the scene after a sperm whale was similarly caught in a net and eventually freed. According to the Italian Coast Guard, this year has been exceptionally intense. This is because illegal fishing of these aquatic animals remains.
The World Wildlife Fund indicated that many whale species are facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. The number of whales that are killed each year due to commercial whale hunts is more than 1,000. The authorities have confiscated more than 100 kilometres of fishing nets since January.