'Remove nets' for whale migration

A GOLD Coast environmental group has called for shark nets to be banned during whale migrations periods.

GECKO - Gold Coast and Hinterland Environment Council - argues that nets should be stowed away and only drum lines used to avoid whales getting caught.

The call follows three recent incidents of humpback whales entangled in shark nets, including one off Kirra at the weekend which had to be rescued.

“We understand that of the 33 beaches in the shark-netting program that only 11 have shark nets while the remainder have baited drum lines,” GECKO secretary Lois Levy explained.

“Since both methods are considered by the Queensland Government to be effective in preventing shark attack it is difficult to understand why the shark nets on the 11 beaches cannot be replaced by drum lines during the whale migration.”

Ms Levy said the group had lobbied for the change for years.

“We again request that this situation be reviewed and the shark nets are replaced by drum lines in order to protect the swimming public, the migrating whales and the whale rescue teams who put their lives at risk every time a whale is enmeshed,” she said.

Ms Levy said while she understood it was important to protect swimmers from sharks, it was also vital to protect people from having to undertake dangerous whale rescues.

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