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Search Is On For Blue Whale Caught In Fishing Line

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The blue whale might be the largest animal on the planet, but the ocean is much, much larger.

On Friday afternoon around 1 p.m., the 75-foot blue whale was spotted off in the waters between the Los Angeles Harbor and Catalina Island. Observers noticed it swimming in an unusual manner and eventually saw it had a 300-foot fishing line and netting somehow stuck on it. "This whale was staying right up on the surface and just swimming real gentle," Captain Dan Salas, who was one of the first to spot the animal, told ABC 7. "So, we feel that the whale knows that it has a line on it."

"Hopefully, the whale understood that help was on the way," the captain added. Salas, who is with Harbor Breeze Cruises, told KTLA that he believes a crab trap was attached to the line.

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Salas and his crew attached a red buoy in order to make tracking the whale easier for rescuer. However, the animal disappeared late Friday night as it got dark, and hasn't been spotted since. Officials are hoping either boaters or pilots will spot the whale this weekend.

"Stay away from the whale," Peter Wallerstein of Marine Animal Rescue told the L.A. Times. If one were to spot the whale. Instead, keep a distance of at least 1,000 feet and call the Coast Guard or (877) SOS-WHALE.

Wallerstein this is the best animal his group has ever attempted to rescue. Last month, they were concerned about a young gray whale that got stranded in Marina Del Rey.

The blue whale is the largest animal to have ever existed on earth, and individuals can grow up to 100 feet long and weigh 200 tons. They are considered an endangered species.

LA Sheriff's deputies in a patrol helicopter and raptor boat are helping in the search and rescue for an approximately...

Posted by Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Saturday, September 5, 2015