Shark nets cause controversy wherever they are placed and many question whether the effectiveness is worth the pain, suffering and death not only to sharks, but to other marine creatures as well.
The Humane Society International (HSI) says that a third whale in as many days has been caught in Gold Coast shark nets. Rescuers were working to disentangle a whale caught at Surfers Paradise on Sunday 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 four whales have been entangled.
Marine Biologist with Humane Society Lawrence Chlebeck said that the HSI want the Queensland Government to act on this recommendation for the trial immediately before any more whales are trapped. ‘Whales must be allowed to freely migrate through Queensland waters for the remainder of this whale season,’ he said.
51 humpback whales have been caught in Gold Coast nets since 2001.
Continued entanglement whales is unacceptable
‘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,’ said Mr Chlebeck.
‘Shark nets do not keep people safe. They are not a barrier, and they do not keep sharks away. There are more effective technologies for protecting swimmers which do not take a toll on marine wildlife.’
Mr Chlebeck said at the very minimum, Queensland 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.’