Conservation professional rescues humpback whale
Aug 1, 2011
Whale activist and expert Michael Fishbach was traveling through the Sea of Cortez in northwest Mexico over Valentine's Day with family and friends when they thought they saw a dead whale. After watching for a few minutes they saw no movements. Then, they saw the floating mass "forcefully exhale," according to Fishbach in a video he made about the event.
Fishbach dove in to the waters to find the whale "severely entangled" in a fishing net used by local fishermen. He released the whale's dorsal fins himself, but decided to call for help. The authorities said they would arrive "maybe" in an hour, so Fishbach and his group decided to take action themselves.
One small knife was used to released the pectoral fins, and the team was eventually able to free the back fins. The whale, which they named "Valentina," seemed to enjoy her freedom as she breached and slapped for the crowd for miles.
Fishbach and Gerhson Cohen founded The Great Whale Conservancy in 2010. The Conservancy is part of the Earth Island Institute's International Marine Mammal Project and the Campaign to Safeguard America's Waters. The organization seeks to protect blue whales along the coast of California from ships and other forms of death.