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Russia captive orca NARNIA_2017_2 CREDIT Oxana Fedorova

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Humpback whale rescued from shark net in Australia

A humpback whale and her calf have managed to escape after becoming entangled in a shark net off the coast of Queensland, Australia.

In the southern hemisphere humpback whales spend the austral summer in Antarctica before migrating north during the winter months to breed and give birth in warmer waters. Their migration route takes them along the east or west coasts of Australia.

Shark nets are around 150m in length and are set in  particular locations in an attempt to deter sharks from getting close to swimming or surfing beaches. However, they do not cover the whole beach and regularly entangle other marine life. Since 2001, 82 humpbacks have become trapped in the nets.

Local conservationists have called for the nets to be removed during the whales' migration season now that alternatives, such as using drones, offer a less invasive but successful way of monitoring shark movements.

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About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.

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