Clearwater Marine Aquarium aids in dolphin calf rescue

A dolphin calf that was tangled in fishing line off the coast of Destin was successfully freed through a combined effort that spanned two days and eight organizations from around the state, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium reports.
A dolphin calf that was spotted in the Gulf of Mexico with fishing line wrapped around its tail has been freed, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium says. The calf was swimming near its mother, which was unharmed. NOAA

The injured calf was spotted swimming in the Gulf of Mexico next to its mother, with fishing line wrapped tightly around its tail. The line was cutting into the calf’s flukes, aquarium officials said.

It took more than a day to find the dolphin, which was then monitored until it swam into shallower waters where the line could be safely removed. Once there, it took a team about 30 minutes to free the calf from the fishing line.

The mission was carried out by a team of more than 30 people from the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, Gulf World, Daughin Island Sea Lab, Sea World, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, the aquarium said.

The dolphin was released and swam freely in the Gulf of Mexico.

In a statement, Mike Hurst, vice president of zoological care at the aquarium said, “As good stewards of our environment, we need to remember to take every course of action to not leave any fishing line, hooks or lures that could potentially harm marine life.”

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