A dead humpback whale calf has washed up on a beach in East Lothian, Scotland on Tynighame Beach Tuesday morning.
While the cause of death is not yet officially known as a spokeswoman from East Lothian Council told The Herald, it is believed that the whale had drowned due to being severely entangled by ropes. As well, sightings have been reported of the whale with a buoy attached to the ropes that were stuck to the animal.
East Lothian Council’s Countryside Rangers have erected a cordon and advised members of the public to keep their distance for health and safety reasons.
A spokesman for East Lothian Council said: “It is nine metres long and considered to be a juvenile at that length.
“It may well be towed to another site and possibly a post-mortem examination will be carried out.
“The level of decomposition is slight, it is considered to be relatively fresh so it probably died within the last two hours or so.”
Ghost gear or fishing gear left in the ocean, is one of the biggest concerns to the health of the oceans worldwide. Ghost gear or ghost fishing is what fishing gear does when it has been lost, dumped or abandoned. Nets, long lines, fish traps or any man made contraptions designed to catch fish or marine organisms are considered capable of ghost fishing when unattended, and without anyone profiting from the catches, they are affecting already depleted commercial fish stocks. Caught fish die and in turn attract scavengers which will get caught in that same net, thus creating a vicious circle.
Organizations such as the The Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) are on the frontlines doing their best to reduce ghost gear in the oceans today. The organization is a great group to join and help make a difference or offer support in any way possible.