13.2 C
Byron Shire
July 15, 2024

Humpback freed off Evans Head

Latest News

Ballina mayor vies for second term ‘leading the rebuild’

Ballina Shire’s mayoral race this September looks to be a competition between two women, one progressive, the other conservative, after both candidates announced campaigns last week.

Other News

Playing with fire

Their excitement is infectious. Young schoolboys in uniform cluster around Rebecca Barnes’ stall as she passes the finger limes...

Wollongbar pod residents to be out by November

The residents of the Wollongbar Pod site have received notices, via text and letter, that they must find alternative accommodation by November leaving many residents distressed and struggling to find a place to live in the area. 

Get their houses in order

Well David Heilpern may be discombobulated (Echo, July 3), but his use of the word Zionist as a derogatory...

Woman charged with DV-related offences – Casino and Goonelabah

A woman will face court today over a domestic violence offence.

While Hamas exists, Palestine will never be free

In response to David Heilpern’s article regarding antisemitism and Israel, (Echo, July 3) it is probably generally agreed that...

Lismore youth crime prevention program North-Tracks Works secures $30,000 grant

Lismore-based North-Tracks Works has secured a $30,000 grant to expand its life-changing program to engage with more young people...

A member of the Sea World Foundation rescue team helps to free a large humpback whale off the coast of Evans Head. Photo Sea World Foundation

A whale that was badly enmeshed in commercial fishing gear was freed off the coast of Evans Head earlier this month, following a major community rescue effort.

The large humpback, which was entangled in thick rope and towing buoys, was first spotted on June 13 off Burewarra Point south of Batemans Bay.

Over the following week whale watchers, and members of whale conservation group ORCA, kept the authorities informed about the mammal’s slow progress up the coast.

On June 21, a rescue team from the Sea World Foundation managed to find the whale near Yamba, about an hour before sunset and attach a satellite tracking device.

Satellite trackers 

‘We were out off the coast of Yamba, and we were lucky enough to stumble across it,’ the rescue team’s skipper, Andy Mulville, said.

‘Our main objective was to get one of our satellite trackers on it so we could hopefully come out the next day and find it during daylight.’

The crew found the whale the next morning and attached a large inflatable buoy to slow it down and keep it close to the surface.

‘Our process was to start at the front of the animal and move back, so we slowly moved down, removing the first line,’ Mr Mulville said.

‘Then we got a second line that was going along underneath and that was the last bit of line that was connected to four floats that had been dragging the whole time.

‘Instantly, when we got that off the whole swim pattern of the animal changed and it took off at about four-to-six knots. It was so good to see that happen.

‘That was one for the memory banks for sure.’ 

Mr Mulville acknowledged that a key part of the rescue was the diligent monitoring of the whale’s progress by community members along the length of the NSW coast.

He said that the fishing gear attached to the whale bore the name of a commercial fishing vessel that had been reported to authorities.

NSW residents who find a whale, dolphin, seal or dugong in distress are encouraged to call ORCA Rescue and Research on 02 9415 3333.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

3 COMMENTS

  1. The whale wasn’t freed, it was already free and got entangled and nearly died in the nets. All Nets should be removed or labeled and the fishing company or Government fined and charged for the detangement. And yesterday a paddle boarder cut more shark nets off a whale on the sunshine coast and is now facing a $30,000 fine tampering with a shark net and saving its life. I would suggest don’t be afraid of fines if you see a whale caught or drowning in shark nets or even a stranded whale. Would you stand by and let a human drown in a net or die on the sand. The whale knows you are there to help and would normally be aware of you and not intentionally hurt you. . Of coarse be careful and the right gear is important. Simple fix, get rid of the f***ing shark nets. The fines are there so people couldn’t get close to the shark nets to document the marine slaughter they were creating. And maybe because I swam under a few shark nets for the media to show what sharks can do. Come on humans stop living in fear and stop killing marine life and get rid of the f***ing shark nets

  2. Wonderful outcome and education regarding Orca as a resource for marine animal rescues in future.
    Hopefully this supports the campaign to get rid of shark nets.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Tweed boating trip turns fatal

A boating venture on the Tweed River ended in tragedy on Saturday when the vessel capsized and a passenger died.

Two in hospital, including officer, after perilous arrest

A Northern Rivers man wanted for arrest and an officer trying to arrest him are both in hospital after a disastrous encounter in the early hours of the morning.

Federal Labor funds Mullum hospital site masterplan  

A $263,000 federal grant has been awarded to Byron Shire Council for a masterplan and development strategy for the former Mullumbimby Hospital site.

Paddle-out for innovative shaper, Geoff McCoy

There are shapers and there are shapers.  Geoff McCoy was our local eminent, and world-recognised, master surfboard shaper. I call this gaggle of exclusive surfboard...