Subject: QLD: Govt to put alarms on sha
Wed, 16 Oct 96 11:58:00 GMT

QLD: Govt to put alarms on shark nets after whale caught

   BRISBANE, Oct 16 AAP - Acoustic alarms would be fitted to all
shark nets along the Queensland coast after two humpback whales
were trapped in the protective barriers today, a Department of
Primary Industries (DPI) spokesman said.
   Both animals were freed but one of the whales, a calf, was
stranded in shallow water for seven hours before being reunited
with its mother off the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane.
   Staff from Sea World on the Gold Coast and Underwater World on
the Sunshine Coast worked all morning to free the animal and
succeeded soon after midday.
   DPI fisheries resource protection general manager Dan Currey
said the acoustic alarms, which had been used on nets in areas
where whales were commonly seen, would now be fitted to all nets.
   "The alarms have been very successful and we believe that
fitting these to all shark nets in Queensland will minimise the
risk of this happening again," Mr Currey said.
   Both whales were swimming safely off shore about 7pm (AEST) and
would be watched closely until they left the Sunshine Coast waters.