Horror start to whale migration season: Young whale entangled in QLD shark net

Thursday, 08 Jun, 2023

The first whale entanglement of the season has occurred just one week into the whale migration season, ensnaring a young sub-adult whale early Monday evening.   

The distressed young whale was left overnight where it was forced to struggle alone before crews were able to free it around 8am the following morning.  

Sea Shepherd Australia’s Threatened Species Campaigner, Lauren Sandeman says this one event could be a death sentence for the young whale. 

“After being abandoned overnight to struggle and fight for his life alone, this young whale may now no longer have enough energy reserves to make the return trip home to Antarctica. A release from a shark net does not mean this poor guy actually survives to see the next season.”

Lauren Sandeman, Threatened Species Campaigner
The young whale was left to struggle overnight. Image: SeaWorld

Off the back of the worst whale entanglement season on record in 2022, with a shocking 15 entanglements, the Queensland government has done absolutely nothing to prevent this from continuing in 2023.  

“The public would be disgusted to know that a net replacement trial was discussed in 2020 and was supported by the scientific working group overseeing the program but was abandoned at the 11th hour with no justification. Queensland is 40 years behind NSW who have been removing nearly double the number of shark nets since the 1980s to prevent whale entanglements. Allowing shark nets to remain in the migratory route is barbaric and a national disgrace."

Lauren Sandeman, Threatened Species Campaigner
Heavily entangled in shark net and in clear distress. Image: SeaWorld

Sea Shepherd Australia is continuing its calls for the Queensland government to commit to the removal of shark nets during whale migration season. 

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