Post sponsored by NewzEngine.com

Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: Sea Shepherd Australia
Just over a month in, and it’s a horror start for the whale migration season in Queensland. Yesterday morning, the fourth whale of the season was entangled at Gold Coast’s Surfers Paradise Beach.

Representing Sea Shepherd Australia, Jonathan Clark said, “The Queensland Government has a serious problem on their hands. We are still very early in the migration season. The mothers and calves have not even begun to swim south and take the routes that tend to bring them closer to shore – right into the shark net zone. Queensland has 27 shark nets that are placed right on the humpback’s highway. This is a highly predictable and inevitable event. On the one hand, the Queensland Government espouses the benefits tourism brings to the Queensland economy, whilst on the other hand fails on its own advice and policy to remove the nets that are so obviously damaging to tourism. Entangling whales off our iconic beaches is just not a good look.”

The whale entangled at Surfers Paradise was released by Sea World Rescue.

Mr Clark said, “These nets do not increase the safety of swimmers on our beaches and they endanger the lives of the people tasked with rescuing these whales.”

“The Scientific Working Group of the Queensland Shark Control Program supports the removal of some shark nets for the whale migration season.”

“Sea Shepherd contends that this would be a fantastic start towards the ultimate replacement of shark nets with modern technologies that are known to provide safety to swimmers and surfers whereas shark nets do not.”

“Practical and effective technology exists right now – and there are local businesses developing it. Imagine the “Smart” state supporting the development and use of smart technologies – drones in the hands of the beach safety experts would provide eyes in the sky supported by artificial intelligence technology that highlights animals in the water and can distinguish between sharks, dolphins, whales and even people. These technologies have the added potential advantage of assisting life savers to identify rips and currents and people in trouble. Our government should be implementing technologies that provide safety and do not impact on marine species.

“The Queensland Government could right now turn a political liability into a political win. Imagine the positive tourism story that could be told when the Queensland Government removes the shark nets – starting with the whale migration season, and adopts a range of scientifically proven safety technologies. It’s time.”

Links:

Queensland Shark Control Program Scientific Working Group Communique 12/03/2020

NOAA Halts Whale Disentanglement Efforts After Rescuer Dies

This year so far:

19/05/2020

1

Burleigh Beach, Gold Coast

Juvenile humpback

19/06/2020

2 & 3

Southport Main Beach, Gold Coast

Mother and calf entangled in shark net

21/06/2020

4

Surfer Paradise, Gold Coast

Humpback

MIL OSI