Baby whale freed from shark nets off North Stradbroke

FINAL UPDATE 2.00PM | A baby whale has now been freed from a shark control drumline of North Stradbroke Island.

The entrapment was first reported by a local resident around 7.30am, with rescue crews able to get to the scene around 10.45am.

With assistance from Sea World and the Shark Control Program Contractor, the Marine Animal Release Team was able to free the four-metre whale just after midday.


Today’s successful release again demonstrates the expertise of the Fisheries Queensland MART crews, who are highly trained and skilled in safe release techniques for these animals,”  says a Fisheries Queensland spokesperson.

“More than 35,000 whales pass along the Queensland coast during the annual migration season and there have been only four release operations this year – resulting in all five entangled whales being successfully freed.

“Whale entanglements in shark control drumlines are very rare. In the past ten years, there have been only three entanglements in drumlines and all had successful outcomes,” they said.

EARLIER @ 11.00AM | The Department of Fisheries has confirmed they’re involved in a baby whale rescue mission off the coast of North Stradbroke Island this morning.

A local resident report a whale was entangled in shark control equipment off Main Beach around 7.30am.

Footage from Channel 7 showed a couple of whales in the area, with Fisheries confirming the one trapped is a ‘four metre juvenile’.

A Fisheries Queensland spokesperson has told myGC they’re on site.

“Fisheries Queensland is responding to reports of a whale entangled in shark control equipment off Main Beach at North Stradbroke Island.

“Initial reports were received around 7.30 am and a Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol Marine Animal Release Team (MART) has been activated.

“Queensland Parks and Wildlife are on site and have confirmed a four-metre juvenile whale is entangled in a shark control drumline and two adult whales are nearby.

“People are asked to maintain a safe distance from the animal to minimise further distress and the response operation at all times.

“More information will be available once the MART crew who are trained and experienced in releasing entangled animals, is on site and has assessed the situation,” the spokesperson said.

EARLIER @ 9.30AM | There are reports a baby whale has become trapped in shark nets off the coast of North Stradbroke Island this morning.

Channel 7 reports a local resident raised the alarm a short time ago, with footage of multiple whales in the area.

It’s understood a calf is trapped in the nets, with its mother nearby. Both appear to be severely distressed.

A rescue is currently underway.

The Department of Fisheries has been contacted for comment.

More to come.