Rescuers desperately attempt to free a baby whale from fishing nets

Baby whale thrashes in shark nets as its mother circles anxiously beneath it – before it is heroically rescued by marine biologists

  • A whale calf became entangled in shark nets off the coast of Coolangatta
  • Experts from Sea World and Queensland Fisheries raced to rescue the animal 
  • The dramatic operation was successful and the whale has since been freed  

Sophie Tanno For Daily Mail Australia

Rescuers have freed a young whale calf that became tangled in shark nets.

The humpback calf was caught in nets off the coast of Coolangatta in Queensland on Tuesday morning, just 500 metres from the shore.  

Marine conservationists from the Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation and Fisheries Queensland spent around 45 minutes desperately trying to untangle the mammal before managing to free it.

Rescuers were desperately trying to free a baby whale from  nets

Rescuers were desperately trying to free a baby whale from  nets

Rescuers were desperately trying to free a baby whale from nets

The humpback calf was caught in nets off the coast of Coolangatta in Queensland on Tuesday morning, just 500 metres from the shore

The humpback calf was caught in nets off the coast of Coolangatta in Queensland on Tuesday morning, just 500 metres from the shore

The humpback calf was caught in nets off the coast of Coolangatta in Queensland on Tuesday morning, just 500 metres from the shore

Footage shows the calf’s anxious mother circle beneath it’s thrashing offspring, unsure of the humans’ intentions.

The calf thrashed around in the water, with its head and tail caught up in the fishing net, which was attached to two buoys.

The Sea World crew were trying to untangle the net from the creature using rods. They backed off each time the calf became too distressed.  

The number of shark nets have increased in the waters off Queensland as a precaution following two shark attacks in 24 hours off the Whitsunday Islands in late September. 

A 61-year-old man suffered a shark bite to his shoulder early on Tuesday morning, whilst fishing at Yeppoon on the Capricorn Coast in Queensland.

A spokesman from Sea World told Daily Mail Australia they were alerted to a humpback whale calf entangled in the shark control netting off Greenmount Beach. 

The calf had some superficial wounds from the entanglement, but nothing life threatening, and swam away with its mother when released.  

Marine Campaigner at Humane Society International Lawrence Chlebeck is pushing for the Queensland government to remove the nets. 

‘Since their installment in 1962, there has been 60 years of progress in technology and understanding shark behaviour. 

‘We simply don’t need the nets and drumlines anymore, and neither does our marine wildlife. 

Mr Chlebeck also noted that the young humpback would have been under ‘severe distress’.  

‘This humpback calf and its mother would have been under severe distress whilst it was trapped in the net, and who knows what would have happened if rescuers hadn’t responded quickly,’ he said.

Footage shows the calf

Footage shows the calf

Footage shows the calf’s anxious mother circle beneath it’s thrashing offspring, unsure of the human’s intentions

 

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