Monday marked the third day of an operation by Italy’s coastguard to free a sperm whale that had become entangled in an illegal fishing net off the Aeolian islands.
Coastguard divers along with the marine conservation NGO Sea Shepherd have been trying to cut away the net for three days, but it is proving slow going as the whale is reportedly very agitated.
Carmelo Isgro, a marine biologist assisting in the rescue, wrote on Facebook, “She is very nervous and does not let herself be helped. Last night the sperm whale began to make longer and longer dives (over half an hour for a single dive).”
Divers managed to remove a large portion of the net over the weekend but lost track of the mammal on Monday. They are currently searching for the whale as its tail remains trapped in the net.