The Italian coastguard has been working for days to free the massive sperm whale Fury. She got stuck in an abandoned fishing net in open sea off the Sicilian Aeolian Islands.
On Saturday, the whale was spotted struggling to get free of a net, usually used for fishing illegally for swordfish.
The coastguard said in a statement that operations were hindered by the large size of the whale, who had become highly agitated because she was trying to get free but couldn’t.
It is the second time in less than a month that the Italian coastguard has had to intervene to free a sperm whale tangled in a fishing net.
“These damn fishing nets are doing huge damage. I haven’t slept in 36 hours. Divers managed to take off some of the net but, then he started to move and it became too dangerous,” biologist Monica Blasi told daily newspaper La Repubblica.
Blasi said they attached a light to Fury’s tail to avoid losing sight of her as they tried to remove the rest of the net.