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Rescue team working to free whale from shark nets off Gold Coast

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Experts are working to free a whale caught in a shark net off the Gold Coast, reigniting calls to remove the devices during the migration season.

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It’s the first entanglement so far this year as whales head north to warmer waters.

But Queensland typically sees a number of such incidents each migration season, and conservation groups have long demanded shark control nets be removed while whales are passing through.

The government’s animal release team is working to free the animal from the net off Coolangatta, with the help of Sea World experts.

Sea Shepherd Australia said shark nets have taken a heavy toll on whales over the past decade.

“Since 2011, at least 49 whales have been caught in these shark nets and on drumlines,” the group’s shark campaigner Jonathan Clark said on Wednesday.

Sea Shepherd is advocating for less destructive forms of shark control, such as drones.

NSW already removes shark nets to protect whales during their migration, and Sea Shepherd says Queensland must immediately do the same.

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