Shark Net Accidentally Traps Humpback Whale

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The fear surrounding shark attacks has started to affect other animals in the ocean. According to The Guardian, a humpback whale became tangled in a net set up to prevent sharks from coming too close to Australian beaches.



The humpback became stuck while swimming approximately 800 meters off the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia. Rescuers were able to cut away the net that was caught on the animal's tail and fins. The massive, eight-ton whale remained calm throughout the release and was able to safely swim away from the incident, thanks to good water conditions.

This is the first humpback whale to become trapped in the nets during this migration season, but conservationists worry there will be more. The Australian Marine Conservation has demanded that the government remove the nets, but officials have refused to follow through.

The nets were originally placed in 1962, after a rise in shark attacks, and they protect swimmers at 85 of Australia's beaches. 713 sharks were caught in the nets last year, but the traps also catch other unplanned animals. Dugongs, dolphins, sea turtles and a variety of whales routinely become wrapped up in the nets as well.



"These nets catch a whole range of life. Western Australia looked at a shark net program, but decided it wasn't the route to go down because of the environmental impact. There are other alternatives to protect beachgoers. The state could increase beach surveillance and flyovers, which are more environmentally friendly," explained Darren Kindley, director of the AMCS, to The Guardian. "The bottom line is that these nets give a perceived sense of safety. The nets have big gaps where the sharks can swim through, so it's not really a barrier, it's just a large fishing net to kill sharks. There is little sense to them."

The AMCS hopes to persuade the government to at least take down the nets during the whales' winter migration season, but this seems unlikely. Officials say that the nets have greatly cut down on shark attacks, and that human safety must come first.


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The Measure Man

yes indeed 800 meter humpback whale WOW now that\'s one whale of a fish story

July 27 2013 at 5:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
redmond352

An "800 meter long Humpback whale"? Somebody needs to do some proof reading at Huff Post. For the record, 800 meters is approximately a distance of one half of a mile. Whales are big, but they're not that big!

July 27 2013 at 4:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
paxrail

Wow! That's a whale of a whale!

July 27 2013 at 3:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
timetojumpout

800 meter long????? WOW, What's that? 2600 feet long???? Call Guinness quick. Ohhh, never mind just drink one.

July 27 2013 at 12:44 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
emma.chadwick

the oceans were here long before man was. the ocean wasn't made for man.it was made for creatures that live in the ocean. we live on land. we don't need to swim in the ocean. go swim in a lake or a pond or a big river. go buy a pool. go swim in a community pool. take the nets down and go swim somewhere else. man just has to invade everywhere and leave nothing but death behind him.

July 27 2013 at 12:29 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Peggy Freeman

Soooooo you kill all kinds of endangered species for a \"perceived safety\" that experts say isn\'t there. Awesome.

\"The bottom line is that these nets give a perceived sense of safety. The nets have big gaps where the sharks can swim through, so it\'s not really a barrier, it\'s just a large fishing net to kill sharks. There is little sense to them.\"
The AMCS hopes to persuade the government to at least take down the nets during the whales\' winter migration season, but this seems unlikely. Officials say that the nets have greatly cut down on shark attacks, and that human safety must come first.

July 26 2013 at 11:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jay

why does aol feel they need to refer to each and every species--from a lizard to a whale, a "creature"--is it an attempt to lure viewers to a site under the guise of something alien---if its a whale call it a whale---shamless!!!

July 26 2013 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jay's comment
tamarmy.com

Jay, I raised this same concern last month. I also raised the question of why it was needed. It my opinion, they are completely unable to just tell a story. They want to lead us all on and get "hits" on the site. I just click past every story that has creatures in the title. But I do feel your pain on this one. They are ridiculous....

July 26 2013 at 8:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CLARK

Instead of freeing that whale, they should have put it on display since it is apparently 50 times longer than a large adult Humpback. 800 meters is over 2625 feet and the normal size range for a Humpback is 12 - 16 meters or 13 - 17 yards (39 - 51 feet). Could it be that the shark net was 800 meters long?

July 26 2013 at 5:28 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to CLARK's comment
joe knesis

I agree that the length of the humpback could not be 800 meters long. Must be a miss-print (Probably 8 meters long). Even the largest animal that ever lived (Blue Whale) is only 30 Meters long. That length would make that humpback approximately 2000 tons... about 2 million pounds. I don't think so...

July 26 2013 at 6:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jay

why does AOL continually use the word "creature" when describing every species from a lizard to an elephant ---a shameless attempt to lure viewers under the guise of something alien ---if its a shark call it a shark!!!

July 26 2013 at 5:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akram

datS amazin !!!

July 26 2013 at 5:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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