Queensland Shark Nets: Three Whales in Three Days

By : Humane Society International June 22, 2020

A third whale in as many days has been caught in Gold Coast shark nets. Rescuers are working to disentangle a whale caught at Surfers Paradise this morning. It follows a mother and calf trapped for hours at Main Beach on Friday. 

In March the Queensland government's Scientific Working Group for shark control supported a trial to remove the nets for the whale season. Since that time the nets remain in place and 4 whales have been entangled.

"Humane Society International says the Queensland Government must act on this recommendation immediately before any more whales are trapped. Whales must be allowed to freely migrate through Queensland waters for the remainder of this whale season,” said Lawrence Chlebeck, Marine Biologist with Humane Society International. 

51 humpback whales have been caught in Gold Coast nets since 2001.

"The continued entanglement of migrating whales in Queensland shark nets is unacceptable. It is far past time to remove them. Shark nets are ineffective for public safety and trap and kill marine animals unnecessarily. Even when whales survive they suffer great distress,” continued Mr Chlebeck.

"Shark nets do not keep people safe. They are not a barrier, and they do not keep sharks away,” said Mr Chlebeck. "There are more effective technologies for protecting swimmers which do not take a toll on marine wildlife."

"Queensland, at the very minimum, must remove shark nets during whale migration. This is not a new idea, their own Scientific Working Group suggested it back in March and no change has been made while whales continue to suffer this trauma,” concluded Mr Chlebeck.

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HSI concentrates on the preservation of endangered animals and ecosystems and works to ensure quality of life for all animals, both domestic and wild. HSI is the largest animal protection not-for-profit organisation in the world and has been established in Australia since 1994