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Entanglement Responses, Outcomes & Summaries

The Hawaiian Islands Disentanglement Network has grown since its inception in 2002, and now comprises over 250 participants who have received different levels of training in order to support disentanglement efforts statewide. In addition, the network now has 5 full caches of specialized equipment strategically distributed throughout the state.

Since 2002, the network has mounted over 140 on-water responses to entangled whales. There have been more than 139 confirmed reports, representing at least 88 different animals. To date, 20 animals have been freed of all or significant amounts of gear.

Sanctuary staff freeing a humpback whale off Oahu.
Humpback whale rescue effort
HIHWNMS, MMHSRP Permit #932-1905

While disentanglement may help save some of these magnificent animals, it is not the long-term answer. We cannot cut every entangled whale free. The value of disentanglement is that it provides information that might help managers, fishermen and other ocean users with the ultimate goal of lowering or at least mitigating the entanglement risk to large whales.


Explanation of Gear Removed

The network has removed approximately 8000 feet of line (greater than 3/8" diameter, does not include netting and twine) from 19 different humpback whales and one sei whale. Animals have been confirmed entangled in local fishing gear (traps and net), mooring gear, marine debris, and actively fished gear set as far away as Alaska.

Humpback whale rescue effort
HIHWNMS, MMHSRP Permit #932-1905


Rescue Season Summaries

Find out more detailed information about rescues from the following years:

2013-2014 Rescue Season Summary

2012-2013 Rescue Season Summary

2011-2012 Rescue Season Summary

2010-2011 Rescue Season Summary

2009-2010 Rescue Season Summary

2008-2009 Rescue Season Summary

2007-2008 Rescue Season Summary

2006-2007 Rescue Season Summary

2005-2006 Rescue Season Summary

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