Baby whale caught in shark nets
THE “distressing” scene of a baby whale caught in a shark net at Greenmount beach has renewed calls to scrap the nets.
Sea World’s director of marine science, Trevor Long, was one of eight people to rescue a fourmetre whale from a shark net on Tuesday morning.
His team received the call just before 6am and was able to free the whale as its mother watched on by 7.30am.
“Both mother and calf had been in the net,” he said.
“The mother still had a tiny piece of net on her nose, she had been in the net and there was a big hole next to where the baby was.
“The calf had a lot of skin abrasion from where the nets had rubbed it raw.
“I don’t think these are life-threatening but it identifies it has been in the net for a long time.”
Dr Long said this could be avoided if the nets were replaced with drumlines which are used in other areas where nets had been killing too many dugong.
He said the replacement of nets had not had an impact on swimmers as recent studies had shown about 50 per cent of sharks caught in nets were swimming from the shore back out to sea.
And if the nets were removed it would stop the “endless killing of a lot of marine life”.
“What I would like to see is the government hold a workshop,” Dr Long said.
“If we hold a workshop where we gather all the people with the expertise and at least have open ears, then hopefully we can move forward instead of a whole lot of endless killing of marine life that occurs every year.”
The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries was contacted for comment.