There seems to be a never-ending stream of non-target species being caught in nets and during the southern migration season, this means whales. The Humane Society International (HSI) is asking how many is enough?
For the fifth time during this whale migration season, a humpback whale has been caught in shark control equipment in Queensland. This time, the animal was tangled in a drumline off Stradbroke Island. The distressing scenes echo those witnessed each and every year during the whale migration season.
Humane Society International (HSI) is calling for immediate removal of shark nets and lethal drumlines in Queensland. At the very least, nets must not be kept in during the whale migration season.
HSI Marine Biologist Lawrence Chlebeck says that whales are caught every year in shark control equipment in Queensland. ‘The fact another whale has been ensnared is horrifying but not at all surprising. Every year this happens, and every year we ask the Queensland Government to transition to modern technology to better manage the risk of shark bite.’
After four whales were caught in quick succession earlier in the season the Premier and Minister Mark Furner publicly hinted that a decision to alter the program and remove the nets for the whale season was under consideration.
‘There have now been five whales caught this year,’ said Mr Chlebeck. ‘How many is enough? There are more effective, non-lethal strategies to protect both people and marine wildlife.’
The NSW Government removes shark nets during the whale migration season, but Queensland insists on using the ineffective and deadly nets year-round.
‘Humane Society International will be the first to applaud the Queensland Government if they listen to the science take the nets and drumlines out to reduce the catch of whales and find smarter ways to protect human and marine life.’