Govt flags action on Gold Coast shark nets over whale fears

The State’s Fisheries Minister is reportedly looking at plans to install more drum lines along Gold Coast beaches, following growing calls to remove shark nets.

It comes after three whale rescues in as many days, the latest on Sunday morning.

A whale became tangled in nets off Surfers Paradise before being freed about two hours later.


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A humpback and her calf were trapped in nets for almost three hours off Main Beach on Friday.

A fourth whale is suspected of getting caught in nets on the weekend before freeing itself.

Calls are increasing to remove shark nets, especially during whale migration season, with 40,000 whales expected to pass our coast this season.

A petition set up three years ago has now attracted more than 100,000 signatures.

READ MORE: Growing calls to remove shark nets along Qld coast

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Monday that she would discuss the issue with Fisheries Minister Mark Furner.

“I think my understanding is that he has a proposal. My number one concern is human safety, we are going in to school holiday period of course,” The Premier said.

“But we will look at all options and as we know it is the whale migration period as well.

“I think, part of his proposal is additional drumlines, so we would have to look at that in a lot more detail, but I don’t want to pre-empt that discussion.”

“But human safety is paramount and we saw that shark attack just recently in northern New South Wales where a person was attacked and we don’t want to see that happening here.”

Calls to remove shark nets come despite a reported sighting of a great white shark off Surfers Paradise on the weekend.

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“But human safety is paramount and we saw that shark attack just recently in northern New South Wales where a person was attacked and we don’t want to see that happening here.”

Drum lines are an improvement over nets, but why not just empower the Royal Australian Navy and Coast Guard to track and depth-charge sharks? Sure, this might result in collateral damage to whales, dolphins, turtles, and other harmless denizens of the deep, but hey, just think of how you would be improving “human safety”!

Florida, USA, is the shark attack capital of the world, yet does rot see any need for drum lines or nets. Floridians have a special approach to sharing the shark’s domain: It is called “Personal Responsibility”.