And there was slaughter in the water when I fought her
Shark attack! Didn't want to meet a man-eater
Shark attack! Shark Attack
(Split Enz, 1980)
Two months ago on Queensland's Gold Coast Trevor Long received a phone call that had become all too familiar. A humpback whale had become hopelessly tangled in a shark net off the city's famed beaches. It was the second time this year a whale had been caught in similar circumstances.
Mr Long, marine sciences director at the Sea World Marine Park, had heard and seen this too many times. He had released his first whale from a shark net in 1974. And here he was in his office at the marine park, nestled on a tongue of land between the Southport Broadwater and the Pacific Ocean - not a few hundred metres from a traffic of whales in the wild, dolphins, manta rays and all manner of fish - and there was little he could do but wait for such calls. Three days later the mammal was sighted south off Lennox Head, dragging more than 150 metres of torn netting.
It was this incident that re-ignited debate about the shark net and its capabilities to "by-catch" non-targeted species.