A Humpback whale faced the very serious threat of drowning after being caught in fishing nets in Mexico. Stuck there for days, a team of divers went to work trying to set the whale free. According to one rescuer, the whale "was stressed; she was throwing her tail about, moving quite a lot. You could tell she was asking for help."
This certainly isn't the first time an animal has been unintentionally caught in a fishing net. Rare sea turtles, such as the threatened loggerhead, are frequently caught in Atlantic trawl nets. According to a 2005 report by the World Wildlife Fund, "Almost one thousand whales, dolphins, and porpoises die every day in nets and fishing gear." Beyond nets, the ramifications of overfishing are far-reaching. Last year, over 500 penguins were found dead on Brazilian beaches over the course of just ten days -- it is suspected that the penguins starved to death due to overfishing.
Recent reports suggest that efforts are being made to stop both problems. There have been advances in fishing nets and efforts to curb overfishing. While the freed whale is certainly a success story, it leaves behind an uncomfortable thought: Why is it upsetting when one animal species is caught in a net, but it's standard practice to catch another animal species in that same net?
WATCH this underwater rescue: