Growing calls to remove shark nets along Qld coast

Support for a shark net petition is growing again, after another whale became trapped along the Gold Coast yesterday.

The mammal was spotted tangled in nets of Surfers Paradise around 8.00am, sparking a massive rescue operation by crews from Sea World and Queensland Boating and Fisheries.

After about two hours, crews were able to successfully free the marine mammal from the nets.


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It’s the third whale to get trapped along the Gold Coast in as many days, with a mother and calf getting trapped off Main Beach on Friday.

There was a similar incident in Burleigh Heads last month as well.

WATCH: Rescue crews free whale from Gold Coast shark nets

During the whale migration, as many as 40,000 humpback whales travel north up our coast line each year.

And with entrapment becoming more common every season, many are becoming concerned that the shark nets need to go.

A petition created over three years ago has now gained over 100,000 signatures, calling for the government to pull out the nets in Queensland and look into other methods to keep sharks away from beaches.

“Whales are being entangled, injured or killed in the Gold Coast shark nets, Queensland, Australia every year.

“Whales and dolphins have the same fear of drowning and the suffering inflicted on them is tremendous.

“The entanglements are predictable, occur every year and most important are preventable,” the ‘Stop whale entanglements’ petition reads.

While, Head of Marine Science at Seaworld Wayne Philips agrees, telling Sunrise something else needs to be done.

“We’d certainly like to see less nets out during the winter months, while the whales are moving from Antarctica up to the Queensland waters.

“That would make sense, it would help the migration, and help the whales ultimately.

“It’s a difficult situation the government’s in, they have to balance human safety and wildlife needs. So drones and smart drum lines, have all been spoken about.

“There’s a report with the Queensland government, that they commissioned. And we hope that we have the government look at the report and the findings and start to implement some of those actions.

“The humpback population that’s involved in the migration is extremely healthy, so the more whales that are out there, the more chance there is of them getting stuck in the nets on the way past,” Mr Philips.

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