DEECA is looking for an entangled whale spotted near Loch Sport

The Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) is urging the public to report any sightings of a humpback whale entangled with fishing lines off the Gippsland coast.

The adult humpback was spotted last Sunday by a helicopter crew flying to oil and gas platforms near Ninety Mile Beach.

Up to 200 metres of ropes and lines and 11 floatation buoys were attached to the whale, which was about 18 km from Loch Sport.

DEECA established an Incident Management Team to locate the whale and prepare for a disentanglement operation. A helicopter searched for two days between Wilsons Promontory and Point Hicks but was unable to find the whale.

Specialised whale disentanglement crews, including staff from Victorian Fisheries Authority and Parks Victoria, were on standby at Lakes Entrance to remove the ropes and lines if it was located.

When last seen on Sunday, the whale was moving slowly northward, parallel with Ninety Mile Beach.

Mariners are advised to exercise caution in the area offshore from Ninety Mile Beach, as the whale could be a navigational hazard.

The whale was last seen near Ninety Mile Beach, DEECA said on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 26.

Anyone who has seen the whale or buoys should call the DEECA Whale and Dolphin Emergency Hotline on 1300 136 017.
Photos: Contributed