WATCH: Fisherman free small orca caught in their nets

By January 12, 2019

Illegal fishing of important marine species like dolphins, sharks and whales has brought devastation on our oceans. But with increased education about responsible and sustainable fishing practices comes the results.

That was evident this past week as a group of fishermen from Chimbote caught an orca in their nets. Instead of bringing it on their boat to sell it off into an underground market, the fishermen helped save the orca that was later nicknamed “Willy” because it was set free.

In the video, you can see the fishermen struggle to get the net out from under the killer whale and it twists itself to try and get out of the netting.

“Fishing in Peru is changing,” reads the above message from the Production Ministry. “We congratulate these fishermen from Chimbote that were able to free a small orca.”

The ordeal happened on the ship “Maranatha III” owned by captain Jorge Luis Inga Peña, who told Spanish-language outlet Diario Correo that the fishermen were thinking about cutting off the net when they realized a large fish was stuck in it. But when they saw it was a killer whale, they decided to help free it instead of leaving it entangled in the open sea.

“There were moments when it was hurting us to hear the orca crying, but it was worth the effort risking our lives to save it,” Inga said. “It’s not common in Peru to see these types of cetaceans – generally we see humpback whales or sperm whales – but killer whales we had never seen before.”