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Byron Shire
December 3, 2022

Whale caught in shark net off Gold Coast

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A baby whale that was previously caught by a Gold Coast shark net. Photo supplied

Once again shark nets have caught a whale as by-catch, this time off Snapper Rocks in Queensland off the southernmost point of the Gold Coast.

Sea Shepherd Australia said it believes the whale has dragged the shark net from Coolangatta.

This is the first case of a whale entanglement this year but conservationists say it is likely there will be more if the Queensland Government doesn’t remove the nets during whale migratory season.

‘Once again, we must report that the Queensland Government has, with its antiquated Shark Control Program, caught another majestic whale. Since 2011, at least 49 whales have been caught in these shark nets and on drumlines,’ said Sea Shepherd Australia’s Shark Campaigner Jonathan Clark

Campaigners say that the removal of dangerous shark nets during the whale migration season is urgent.

Whale in the ocean. Photo Annabelle Wall

‘They could easily be replaced by more modern swimmer protection technology such as drones. New South Wales already remove shark nets from their beaches for the whale migration season,’ they point out.

Sea Shepherd Australia’s Managing Director Jeff Hansen said ‘Shark nets do nothing for beach users safety and belong back in the dark ages. It’s time for QLD to follow NSW’s lead and remove these pointless shark nets so our whales can pass up the East Coast of Australia without running the gauntlet of indiscriminate killing devices.’

Mr Clark said ‘Sea Shepherd calls for the removal of the shark nets. Their removal during the whale migration season would be a good start and could be accompanied by the serious proving of other technologies such as drones. This must happen now.’

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  1. AGREE TOTALLY WITH SEA SHEPHERD, there is NO excuse to continue the ineffective & inhumane use of shark nets. Our own community has refused to accept shark nets by using volunteer look outs & drones. Shark nets don’t even go point to point, so swimmers are most often unaware that there are huge gaps in these deathly nets. For this reason alone , I am very proud of our enlightened community. Just one whale /dolphin or turtle that suffers injury or worse death due to these floating death traps is one precious creature too may. Shark nets kill….indiscriminately .

    • More sharks are caught in the beachside of the nets than are caught on the open oceanside of nets. So it proves that we are always swimming with sharks and that the sharks have little interest in humans.

  2. The ensnaring of the whale in a shark net says something about the low number of sharks.
    The shark is the scavenger of the ocean and attacks injured fish and cleans up the ocean.
    That whale was tied up in a net and dragged that net 30 kilometres out to sea. It could not escape, and yet with all it wriggling and writhing it did not attract any sharks.
    A shark can feel vibrations in the water up to 10 kilometres away. Sharks, where are they? Nowhere to be seen on the Gold Coast.


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