Hello everyone, it’s Danielle with Quoddy Link Marine with some great news, Sodapop, a young humpback whale we spent some time with in 2009 has been sighted gear-free on Stellwagen Bank off the coast of MA. The last sighting of Sodapop was in the Bay of Fundy on September 11, 2010 by the Grand Manan Whale and Seabird Research Station and this was the situation then:

Observers noted that the whale had dark line exiting the left side of the mouth and trailing alongside the flank and aft of the fluke to a tangle of line. This line sometimes fouled the flukes. No buoy was visible during the sighting and an assessment of the right side was not possible. The PCCS humpback studies program identified the whale as Sodapop, based on fluke shots from the sighting. Responders with the Campobello response team will attempt a search today.

The pictures below are from that sighting and that was the last time Sodapop was sighted…until yesterday…

Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies had a sighting of Sodapop yesterday on Stellwagen Bank

The humpback whale Sodapop was sighted yesterday (2 May 2011) by a PCCS vessel based team near the SW corner of Stellwagen Bank (42 08.06’N, 70 19.16’W). The team identified the whale based on fluke patterns and followed the whale to assess whether it was still entangled. Through the course of the sighting the whale began pectoral slapping and breaching which gave the team the opportunity to confirm that the whale is now gear free. This is the first known gear-free sighting of this whale.
The picture below was taken by PCCS yesterday

This is great news for Sodapop and I am keeping my fingers (and my toes) crossed for another entangled whale, EKG, who was last seen anchored fast to the ocean floor off the coast of ME earlier this year. All of us at Quoddy Link Marine are hopeful we will see EKG on her summer feeding ground in the Bay of Fundy.

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