Rescue team looking for entangled whale off Hawaii

February 3, 2012 - 10:35 PM

HONOLULU (AP) — A humpback whale rescue team is looking for a whale off Hawaii that is caught in fishing lines.

Jeff Walters, the marine mammal branch chief at the National Marine Fisheries Service, said Friday the gear could kill the whale. He says the lines are caught in the whale's mouth, which will eventually make it hard for the animal to eat.

A tour boat first saw the whale Thursday off Maui's south coast.

Officials from the large whale disentanglement network — which includes people from federal and state agencies — went to the scene and followed the whale in a boat. The hoped to cut the whale free of the line.

But they lost sight of the animal because they weren't able to tag it.