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.
‘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.’