Australia: Marine rescuers attempt to free whale in shark nets
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Footage captured the brave rescue of the whale which was seen thrashing around in an attempt to remove the net off itself. Australian marine rescuers spent two days attempting to rescue the humpback whale on Tuesday which has now been freed from the 200m net it was tangled up in. GPS trackers were placed on the whale to ensure it remains safe and alive as some of the nettings is still attached to it.
The whale was moving through the Gold Coast as part of its migration journey.
However, the young humpback caught its tail in the shark nets which are designed to keep sharks out of the Gold Coast waters to protect people surfing and swimming in them.
In the last ten year, 54 whales have become tangled in similar equipment with all but two successfully saved.
In the Gold Coast alone, six whales have been caught in the nets in 2020 with all successfully released.
The whale was caught in the netting during migration (Image: Sky News)
The whale was seen thrashing around trying to get out of the net (Image: Sky News)
Sea World staff went out to rescue the whale but found it more difficult than first believed as the whale continued to thrash in the ocean and took the netting over 50km out.
Rescue operations continued through Wednesday but had to be halted due to choppy weather conditions.
GPS trackers were placed on the whale so authorities could find it the following day.
Most of the netting was removed from the whale on Thursday with only a small bit still attached.
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The Gold Coast often sees some whales beached as they make their way through the area (Image: Getty)
However, the leftover netting did not impede the whale as it was seen continuing on its migration journey.
Locals have long questioned the effectiveness of the nets saying they are bad at keeping out sharks but are not nice to look at.
Australian news network 9News spoke to some locals with one saying: “Isn’t there proof that we don’t need these things anymore?”
Another stated: “The shark nets are merely a tourist attraction; they don’t keep the sharks out.
“I don’t believe they should be there.”
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Whale watching in the Gold Coast is popular for many (Image: Getty)
Campaigners Sea Shepherd are demanding less destructive forms of shark controls are used such as drones as some shark nets are designed to kill the sharks which are wrapped up in them.
The nets are attached to anchors which weigh the animal down, preventing them from moving or breathing.
Near Vancouver Island, Canada, a grey whale was also caught but in fishing nets as authorities spent four days attempting to rescue it.
Luckily the animal escaped, but many have demanded fishing and shark nets should be temporarily removed while whales are migrating.