A video circulating on social media shows an unusual situation experienced by fishermen at Praia Grande in Arraial do Cabo, in the Lakes Region of Rio de Janeiro: a humpback whale “towed” the boat they were in on Monday. No one was injured. According to Maycon Victorino, president of the Environmental Foundation for Research Science and Technology (Funtec) of Arraial do Cabo, the location where the scene was recorded is a fishing zone and also a migration route for humpback whales. One of the mammals hit the anchor cable of one of the boats, got scared, and ended up dragging the boat. The crew cut the cable. Funtec then began monitoring the animal using a drone still attached to the hook cable. The boat from the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMbio), which was at sea, was activated, as well as the research boat from the UFRJ’s Ecomar laboratory, with specialized researchers. A traditional fishing boat also provided support.

The humpback whale involved in the incident was evaluated. While the team was preparing to dive, the animal managed to release the cable from its left pectoral fin, returning to the open sea safely. The Arraial do Cabo City Council warns that, according to current rules, when a boat is fishing and the occupants spot a whale, the engine must be left in neutral. This way, the whale can hear that there is a boat there and can determine its location.

Whale watching is a popular activity in many coastal areas around the world, offering tourists and locals the opportunity to witness these magnificent creatures up close in their natural habitat. In addition to humpback whales, other species such as blue whales, orcas, and sperm whales are often spotted during whale watching excursions. These experiences not only provide valuable insights into the behavior and biology of whales but also raise awareness about the importance of marine conservation and protecting these animals and their habitats.

It is essential for tour operators and individuals participating in whale watching tours to follow guidelines and regulations to ensure the safety of both the whales and the people observing them. Approaching whales too closely or disrupting their natural behavior can have negative consequences for the animals and their ecosystems. By promoting responsible and sustainable whale watching practices, we can help preserve these incredible creatures for future generations to enjoy.

In conclusion, the recent incident of a humpback whale towing a boat in Arraial do Cabo serves as a reminder of the awe-inspiring encounters that are possible when humans and wildlife coexist in harmony. By respecting the natural world and appreciating the beauty of marine life, we can create meaningful connections with the environment and work towards a more sustainable future for all living beings.