Queensland Dept of Fisheries and CCOMS Managed Cameras

Case Studies / News and Releases

Source: Brisbane Times, QLD, AustraliaSeptember 4, 2010 – 10:53AM

[Editor's Note:  CoastalCOMS works with the Coastalwatch network of surf cameras, allowing coastal managers and emergency responders access to the cameras for use in managing the coast lines of Australia.   Queensland Fisheries uses CoastalCOMS Cloud Hosted XProtect to access 6-10 existing surf cameras for use in servicing entanglements along the Queensland Coast.]

A seven metre sub-adult humpback whale has been freed from a shark net on the Gold Coast.

Queensland shark control manager Tony Ham from Fisheries Queensland said it took officers less than half an hour to free the whale, which became entangled off Surfers Paradise early on Saturday morning.

“The Marine Animal Release Team, made up of officers from the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol and Seaworld, did an amazing job to free the animal,” Mr Ham said.

“The whale remained calm throughout the entanglement and water conditions were favorable which helped make this a successful release.”

Mr Ham said the entanglement was reported by a member of the public in a nearby highrise, which was then confirmed using the zoom function on the Surfers Paradise Coastalwatch camera.

He said that based on the size of the whale it was likely to be about two to three years old.

“Approximately 13,000 whales are expected to be migrating along the Queensland coastline this migration season,” he said.

“Juvenile whales such as this are more likely to become entangled than adults as they have less experienced and often travel on their own.”

It is the first entanglement this whale migration season.

In 2009 six whales that were entangled in Gold Coast nets were successfully freed.