News

Anger at baby whale’s close call

TAIL SLAP: The Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol marine animal release team tries to free a baby humpback from shark nets at Rainbow Beach while being splashed by the calf’s mother.
TAIL SLAP: The Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol marine animal release team tries to free a baby humpback from shark nets at Rainbow Beach while being splashed by the calf’s mother.

ANTI-SHARK net campaigner Kevin Phillips called on the government to remove shark nets at Rainbow Beach after a juvenile whale got entangled and nearly drowned yesterday.

The five-metre-long humpback calf was freed yesterday afternoon by the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol's marine animal release team in a five hour operation.

Mr Phillips, the owner/operator of Wolf Rock Dive, said rescues like yesterday's should never be necessary.

He said nets were not needed at Rainbow Beach - all they did was kill a lot of harmless sea creatures and endanger whales.

"There is no place in our ocean for shark nets; they are totally unnecessary," Mr Phillips said.

"The least they could do is take the nets away during whale season."

NO NETS: Anti-shark net advocate Kev Phillips says Rainbow Beach should get rid of the shark nets.
NO NETS: Anti-shark net advocate Kev Phillips says Rainbow Beach should get rid of the shark nets.

Mr Phillips said the calf was badly entangled in the net and he was alerted to its predicament by his dive master Cassie Smith early yesterday morning.

Ms Smith spotted the whales swimming near the shark nets just on dark on Wednesday.

Because they were so close to the nets she was concerned they may get trapped and got up early yesterday morning to check.

On arrival at the beach she found the juvenile entangled in the nets, about 250m offshore, and its mother swimming nearby.

Aerial pictures shown to Mr Phillips showed the whale was thoroughly entangled.

"It was well wound up; there was not much of the whale that didn't have mesh on it," Mr Phillips said.

First on the scene to help were government shark contractors.

They loosened the nets which allowed the calf to surface and breathe while they waited for the marine animal release team to arrive.

Rubber duckies were used to take the team to the trapped whale.

Team members used a long handled blade to cut away the net from the body of the whale.

Witnesses on the beach said the mother seemed agitated as the rescuers cut the net from the calf.

The massive humpback breached and tail-slapped the water many times before swimming in a continuous circuit to check on her calf.

Queensland shark control program manager Jeff Krause, from the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol, said the whale was badly entangled and the rescuers did a great job.

"Sea conditions were very good and this enabled the team to cut the ropes off," Mr Krause said.

"Throughout the release the whale was relatively calm and was near the surface, which meant it could breathe easily."

DISTRESSED: The mother of a baby humpback caught in a shark net at Rainbow Beach breaches while shark control personnel loosen the nets.
DISTRESSED: The mother of a baby humpback caught in a shark net at Rainbow Beach breaches while shark control personnel loosen the nets.

Approximately 20,000 whales are currently making their return journey at the end of the migration season.

This is the eighth whale this migration season to be caught in shark control equipment in Queensland, but the first to be snared at Rainbow Beach.

Anyone who spots a whale or other marine animal tangled in the shark control program equipment should call the 24-hour Shark Hotline on 1800 806 891.

For more information on the Shark Control Program or Marine Animal Release Teams, visit http://www.fisheries.qld.gov.au.

Gympie Times

Topics:  editors picks rainbow beach whale



Date nights under $50

ACCORDING to The Bachelor falling in love involves helicopter rides, private jets, shopping trips, and we mustn’t forget the hot tubs.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Insider’s guide to the best rooftop bars

Eleven Rooftop Bar is one to put on your hit list.

SEE the world from a different perspective...

Where to get your hands on the best wings

Try out these bad boys at Buffalo Bar.

IS THERE anything better than a wicked bowl of chicken wings? Nope.

Wide Bay jobs could be in for a shot in the arm

Llew O'Brien Federal Member for Wide Bay

Which Gympie project will get the federal funding?

Gympie teen's death triggers new safety laws

Jason Garrels

Jason Garrel's death pivotal to law changes

All the winners from the Cage Birds section of the Gympie Show

Champion Parrot of the Gympie Show Brian Lambert.

Did you or someone you know enter the Gympie Show?

Local Partners

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

OWNERS of icon Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld want to super-size the site with accommodation and entertainment to turn it into Australia’s Disneyland.

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000 calorie diet

Brian Shaw won his 4th World's Strongest Man title. Source: Twitter

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000-calorie diet

ABC2 slammed over football exhibition match coverage

Fans weren't too happy with ABC2's coverage of Wednesday night's game.

ABC2 slammed for coverage of soccer exhibition match

'Bulls--t!' Lisa Wilkinson grilled over Karl's pay packet

Join us for a Great Night as we Proudly present Lisa Wilkinson

“And you believe everything you read?”

Rebel Wilson trial: The secret we never could have known

Rebel Wilson outside court

“Most people wouldn’t know it exists,” she said.

Janet’s back in the ring

Marta Dusseldorp returns in season three of the TV series Janet King.

Season three of ABC's legal drama delves deeper than ever before.

Game of Thrones drops new trailer for season 7

Game of Thrones fans have been given a new trailer for season 7.

Fans are finally getting a full-throttled peak at season seven.

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!