Activists call to remove shark nets after whale stranded in Queensland

Activists are calling for the removal of “deadly” nets off the coast of Australia due to multiple incidents.

A third whale was caught in shark nets off the coast of Australia this week, and activists are calling for the “deadly” safety measure to be lifted.

Rescuers from Sea World and Queensland Fisheries on Friday morning rushed to the net off Kirra Beach on the Gold Coast, where a humpback whale calf got entangled in the net.

The Queensland Fisheries Patrol Marine Liberation Team received a call at 6:30 am and arrived to find the creature, which had been thrashing around at 8:15 am.

By 9 am, the whale was released from the net.

The humpback whale calf was the third whale in three days, but the fifth whale to be rescued from nets this year, and whale activists are renewing calls for their removal.

On Wednesday, another whale was caught in the same shark nets and a third was trapped on Markula Beach in Sunny Beach.

Several activist groups, including Sea Shepherd, are calling on the Queensland government to remove shark nets during whale migrations.

Sea Shepherd said the start of the whale migration season in Queensland was “terrible”.

The group said it was time for the government to “act on scientific advice” and take down the nets in the winter.

In 2019, the state government decided to keep them for the duration of the migratory season.

Australian Marine Conservation Society shark expert Dr Leonardo Guida took to Twitter on Friday to call on the Queensland government to remove the nets.

“What does it take to heed scientific advice and improve beach safety?” He wrote.

Dr. Guida said it has been less than 72 hours since the last whale was caught.

“It’s on the same damn network, on the same damn beach, at almost the same damn time,” he said.

Since 2011, Queensland’s shark nets have caught 58 whales, according to the Department of Fisheries.

Originally published as Activists call for removal of shark nets after third whale caught this week