Animal and environmental groups are calling for the removal of shark nets along Queensland’s coast after a sub-adult humpback whale was entangled in a net off the Gold Coast on Monday night.
The whale was first spotted by a member of the public swimming near Mermaid Beach at around 7pm. SeaWorld and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries were called to the scene and arrived at around 9pm.
The whale was freed from the net at around 11pm. It is believed that the whale was not injured in the incident.
The entanglement of the whale has renewed calls for the removal of shark nets from Queensland’s beaches. Animal and environmental groups argue that shark nets are not effective in reducing the number of shark attacks and that they pose a danger to other marine life, such as whales.
The Queensland Government has defended the use of shark nets, arguing that they are an important tool in reducing the risk of shark attacks. The government has also said that it is committed to minimizing the impact of shark nets on other marine life.
The incident is the first entanglement of a whale in a shark net in Queensland this year. There have been a total of 10 whale entanglements in shark nets in Queensland since 2016.