Queensland whale entanglement #6 as pleas for Shark Control Program changes fall on deaf ears

By : Humane Society International August 21, 2020

For what is now the 6th time during this whale migration season, a humpback whale has been caught in shark control equipment in Queensland. In a repeat of last Sunday, yesterday's whale was ensnared on a drumline at Stradbroke Island. These distressing scenes should not be allowed to keep happening.  

Humane Society International (HSI) and Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) are repeating calls for an immediate removal of lethal shark control equipment in Queensland to stop further whale entanglements. 

"Whales are caught every year in shark control equipment in Queensland. Another whale's life has been threatened by entanglement – and this problem isn't going away. Every year this happens, and every year we ask the Queensland Government to stop using lethal shark control that also harms other wildlife. We're starting to feel like a broken record, what's it going to take?” said Lawrence Chlebeck, marine biologist with HSI.

After four whales were caught in quick succession earlier in the season the Premier and Minister Mark Furner publicly hinted that a decision to remove the nets for the whale season was under consideration.

"There have now been six whales caught this year. Enough is enough. Whale entanglements are stressful for the whale, and can be fatal. We are calling on all parties in Queensland to commit to removing all lethal shark control equipment and replace it with non-lethal alternatives in the next term of government. This will not only improve bather protection but will also protect Queensland's amazing wildlife,” said Dr Leo Guida, shark scientist at AMCS.

The NSW Government removes shark nets during the whale migration season, but Queensland insists on using the ineffective and deadly nets year-round.

"Our organisations will be the first to applaud any Queensland political party if they catch up with the science and modern technology, commit to removing the lethal nets and drumlines, and find more effective ways to protect both human and marine life,” said Mr Chlebeck. 

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About HSI Australia

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