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Latest Entanglement Response trainees complete
an action-packed apprenticeship in Cape Cod.

This year’s two apprentices to the Global Whale Entanglement Response Network have completed their training with the IWC and its partner, the Center for Coastal Studies (CCS), and returned to Peru.

Vanessa Bachmann and Chiara Guidino are the latest people to participate in the apprenticeship programme, which builds on skills learnt on a previous, two-day entanglement response workshop.  The apprenticeships take place at the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, US, and cover more advanced aspects of entanglement response, from boat safety regulations and design of the custom-built tools, to a study of the approaches taken by different response teams around the world.

Perhaps most importantly, apprentices are taught how to deliver the two-day workshops which the IWC  organises in partnership with national governments and are held in-country.  These teach safe and effective entanglement response to groups of 20-40 participants including fishers, coastguard, naval and conservation officers, all nominated by their governments.  A number of former apprentices are now conducting training themselves, as well as leading their countries response teams and networks.

This Summer’s apprenticeships have been very eventful, witnessing two real entanglement responses.

The first was a complex entanglement involving a critically endangered North Atlantic right whale.  First spotted in the Gulf of St Lawrence, Canada, a telemetry buoy had been attached to the animal, enabling experts to track its route some 900 miles south to Cape Cod, where the apprentices were able to observe the CCS response team. 

The very real dangers faced by entanglement responders all over the world were painfully clear as the whale, which was carrying over 300 feet of heavy rope, became agitated, and the configuration of the entanglement changed with each dive and resurface.  The team managed to remove much of the rope and its hoped that the rest will be shed now the whale is able to swim more freely.

The second entanglement involved a minke whale and was slightly less complex, notwithstanding the appearance of a Great White Shark that had also spotted the compromised whale!

The apprenticeships were generously sponsored by Cetacean Society International and the apprentices return home equipped with invaluable skills and experience to help them build safe and effective response teams along the extensive and often remote coastline of Peru.  

For more information about the IWC Entanglement Response Network, click here.

For more information about the CCS response to the North Atlantic right whale entanglement click here.

For more information about the CCS response to the minke whale entanglement click here.

Latest Entanglement Response trainees complete an action-packed apprenticeship in Cape Cod.