The Department of Conservation has been unable to locate a whale that was found entangled in ropes last week.
DOC yesterday released a series of underwater photos of a humpback whale that's been the centre of a Northland rescue effort.
DOC says whale entanglement response teams on two vessels were deployed in the Bay of Islands early this morning along with a helicopter to help track down the creature.
Despite extensive searching however, both teams have been unsuccessful.
The distressed whale was discovered around Thursday midday off Cape Brett in the Bay of Islands when a passenger on a dolphin cruise spotted the adult. Authorities said it appears the whale has been caught in a crayfish pot that wound around its snout.
"The assessment of the whale found that it is not able to move freely but is still breathing," a DOC spokesperson said.
"It's not unusual for humpback whales to become entangled in rope because they're inquisitive."