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Recently a humpback whale was washed on Tyninghame Beach, entangling ropes still attached, already dead. Apparently it was the whale seen several weeks ago entangled in creel ropes in the Forth and seems to have drowned when it lost control of its surfacing ability.



The RNLI Inshore (ILB) floated it off the beach, the Offshore (OLB) slowly towed it to Skateraw. Two tractors pulled it above the waterline where the scientists dissected it on the beach and veterinary pathologist Dr Andrew Brownlow performed a necropsy. As a result of the entanglement, the whale lost condition and was therefore more susceptible to the effects of infection and parasitism, which debilitated it further. The lungs evidenced that it had eventually drowned, either through exhaustion, or because it became further entangled. Entanglements are a relatively rare occurrence in Scottish waters but can pose a threat to human safety also.

This humpback is estimated to be 9m long, weighing around 8 tonnes (adults range in length from 12–16 m and weigh around 25–30 tonnes).

Dunbar’s harbourmaster and the fishermen are working with the Scottish Entanglement Alliance (SEA) dedicated to promoting and protecting Scotland’s wildlife, heritage, and sustainable marine industries. SEA will work closely with the Scottish inshore fishing industry to provide an engagement programme to understand the scale and impact of marine animal entanglements in our waters, and work towards developing strategies to reduce this threat. https://www.scottishentanglement.org/

Very sad.

photos by Kenny Maule


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