Officials looking for entangled blue whale off California coast

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 05, 2015 2:28 PM

By Katie Reilly

(Reuters) - Officials on Saturday were trying to locate a blue whale entangled in a fishing line off the southern California coast after efforts to free it failed on Friday.

The whale, which was first seen by a cruise ship off the coast of the upscale seaside community of Rancho Palos Verdes, was last spotted Friday in the channel between Los Angeles Harbor and Catalina Island, said Jim Milbury, a spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Rancho Palos Verdes is about 25 miles (40 km) from Catalina Island.

Milbury said the NOAA alerted whale-watching and recreational boats to look for the whale on Saturday and asked them to notify the U.S. Coast Guard or NOAA if they spot it.

A crew authorized by the NOAA to conduct marine animal rescues was unable to free the whale from the line on Friday.

"They ran out of time and daylight," Milbury said.

Blue whales, the largest animals on Earth, can reach nearly 100 feet in length and weigh 190 tons. They were once driven to near extinction by whaling.

(Reporting by Katie Reilly in New York; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)