Animal rescuers are working to free a young adult humpback whale which has become entangled in shark control netting on the Gold Coast.
The whale was spotted entangled in shark control netting off Tugan Beach about 8.30am (AEST) today, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries acting shark control program manager Rick Exten said.
The Marine Animal Release Team (MART) was attempting to release the whale, he said.
“The whale is off Tugun Beach with the netting attached to its tail, however, the MART unit is close to cutting it free,” he said.
“It is believed the whale is a young adult around eight to nine metres in length.”
Mr Exten said that unlike Colette, the baby humpback which was euthanased after being found alone in Sydney’s Pittwater last month, the Gold Coast whale appeared to be in good health.
He said the rescue team was in boats alongside the whale and cutting the net to free it.
Including today’s entanglement, since 2000, 22 whales have been caught in shark netting in Queensland. Of these entanglements, 19 whales have been successfully freed by MART, which is based on the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and Mackay.
Mr Exten said it would be hard to tell if the whale was entangled in a net which went missing at Currumbin Beach on the Gold Coast last Sunday.
He said the humpback was swimming with the net attached but any suggestion it was the missing net would be mere speculation.