Calls to ditch shark nets over whale fears

Tiffanie TurnbullAAP
A petition is calling for shark nets to be removed from Queensland waters to protect whales.
Camera IconA petition is calling for shark nets to be removed from Queensland waters to protect whales.

More than 100,000 people have signed a petition calling for shark nets to be removed from Queensland waters after four whale became trapped in a month.

The petition, organised by south-east Queensland based group Humpbacks and High Rises, was delivered to the office of Fisheries Minister Mark Furner on Wednesday.

The group says at least 68 whales have been caught in the Gold Coast shark nets in the past 30 years.

Seven have died.

The petition, supported by the Australia Marine Conservation Society and Sea Shepherd, calls for urgent improvement to the state's controversial shark control solution.

It says that should include the removal of nets during the winter whale migration season.

The petition comes after four whales were in the last month trapped in nets on the Gold Coast - a resting area and emerging calving ground for humpback whales.

More than 85 per cent of humpback whale incidents involving the the nets since 1990 happened on the Gold Coast, the group says.

Fisheries Minister Mark Furner says the government's priority is protecting human life, but that he had been briefed by his department on alternatives to shark nets.

AAP understands an announcement about changes to the shark control program is imminent.

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