August 4, 2021

Rescue a whale calf caught in shark nets in Australia

Rescue a whale calf caught in shark nets in Australia

Environmental organizations released images and videos of a newborn humpback or humpback whale that was rescued today after being trapped in a net against sharks on the Costa Dorada, in eastern Australia.

"The vision of these images of the yubarta brood (Megaptera novaeangliae) entangled in the shark net should be enough for the Queensland government to remove these nets," the International Humane Society and the Australian Marine Conservation Society said in a statement.

Both NGOs noted that the incident calls into question the shark control program implemented by the Queensland state government and called for "more effective and less lethal" measures.

They also criticized the Queensland government's attempts to criminalize the capture of images and videos of animals trapped in these nets, including some protected species.

During the rescue, the breeding mother remained "very close" and "very interested in what was being done," Seaworld marine science director Trevor Long told local broadcaster ABC.

"I think the mother realized that we were helping the baby and we were not hurting her and that's why she was calm," said the scientist, who took part in the rescue of the baby, which has skin wounds from rubbing against the skin. net.

The two organizations also reported images of a hammerhead or common horned shark (Sphyrna lewini), an endangered species, that became entangled and died earlier this month in one of the nets placed in the tourist area of ​​the Costa Dorada.

The Queensland government has placed 368 longlines and 30 nets against sharks on its coast, according to the two NGOs.

According to statistics from the Queensland Shark Control Program, some 10,480 sharks, many of them innocuous, have been caught in longlines since 2001 on the Great Barrier Reef, declared a World Heritage Site.

These also caused the death of an undetermined number of turtles, rays, fish and dolphins.


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