DANA POINT (CBSLA.com) — Fishery experts Tuesday searched for a blue whale that was last seen tangled in fishing gear off the coast in Orange County.

On Monday, Captains Dave Anderson and Tom Southern, with Captain Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Safari, located the blue whale trailing what appeared to be about 200 feet of fishing line and crab traps from its tail, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officials.

Anderson and Southern were able to pull their commercial whale watching boat close enough to the mammal to cut away some of the rope, which was wrapped around the whale’s mouth and fins.

The men, however, were not able to remove rope entangled around the flipper, which presents a concern for the whale’s survival.

A tracker that was placed on the whale has since been removed because of its weight.

CBS2’s Jasmine Viel reported there have been 40 entangled whale sightings in California since January.

Any boater who may spot the whale has been urged to notify authorities.

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