This whale is entangled in fishing gear. Entangled whales often need human help to break free from the fishing gear. But the job is hard one that requires handling a small boat near the large (and often distressed) whale, working with ropes pulled very tight and sharp blades. Special teams of experts around the world are trained in the necessary procedures to help free these beautiful giants when the need arises. You can watch the careful process as a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) team cuts rope off of a humpback whale on the California coast. The inset of this photo shows how special fishing lines can be used that allow whales to escape such accidental entrapments.