Conservationists rescued a beached humpback whale recently. The three-hour effort in June was captured off the African coast of Namibia.
In a 37-second video by Naude Dreyer, Conservationists quickly worked to get the gentle whale back into the ocean. The Humpback and the Southern Right whales are seen in the area on the endangered list.
Dreyer told Namibian.com that he had helped on ten occasions to free beached whales and the first successful refloating.
“I was starting to lose hope,” Dreyer said. “But this will give us strength for the next 20 (rescues).”
A Safari service’s discovery and phone call helped Ocean Conservation Namibia make the rescue.
“Together with the Namibian Dolphin Project, we took all the manpower we could muster and headed out,” Dreyer said. “We struggled for nearly three hours, often close to giving up hope. His breathing was shallow, and he did not make much effort to try and swim. Eventually, at the last moment after a big set of waves, he had enough water under himself, and he made a big push to get to deeper water.”
Tour services often market to the migration. According to the International Fund of Animal Welfare, whale watching generates $2.1 billion per annum in tourism revenue worldwide, employing around 13,000 workers.
One Namibia tour service owner, Theunis Keulder, has been offering catamaran trips from Walvis Bay for almost six years. His popular tours run during whale watching season between June and November.
“In the first half of this year, we have already seen a lot of whales during our boat tours” he said. “All of the humpback whales. We sail out every day and have been seeing between 12 to 15 whales since the end of June.”
Whales Often Rescued From Beach In Africa Country
The bay has had its share of beached whales over the years. In the spring, a juvenile male stranded at the Canopy fishing area north of Cape Cross starved to death.
Bridget James, a researcher at the Namibian Dolphin Project, told Namibian.com that humpback whales migrate along Africa’s west coast from the Antarctic where they feed to the warmer waters toward the equator to breed between May and August.
In June, Dr. Simon Elwen of the Namibian Dolphin Project said that they should enjoy the moment if they come across a whale at sea.
“It’s not very often that you see a whale. Most importantly, respect its space. There are very clear guidelines across the globe,” Elwen said.
Elwen’s group works to educate boaters about how best to approach and interact with marine wildlife. It focuses on ways they can help minimize any unintentional disturbance from their activities on/in the water. He said that whales are very noise-sensitive.