A dolphin spotted stuck in a shark drum line off Queensland’s Sunshine Coast is now free.
Video showed the animal struggling to free itself from the shark-stopping device in waters off Kawana Beach, Kawana Waters, about 95km north of Brisbane, shortly before 2.15pm on Thursday.
A Fisheries Queensland spokesperson said a drum line contractor immediately headed to the scene by boat after the report was received.
“The contractor was onsite at 2.55pm and located a dolphin directly in front of the Kawana SLSQ,” a Fisheries spokesperson said.
“The dolphin was successfully released at 3.10pm and it swam away strongly.”
The Queensland government uses the drum lines to mitigate shark attacks off the state’s more populous areas.
They consist of a baited hook attached to a buoy and floats, which is then attached to an anchor.
The 40 second clip was sent out to media outlets by conservation group Envoy Foundation, who alerted Fisheries.
Envoy Foundation spokesman Andre Borell said Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk “should be embarrassed” by the incident, amid calls from Envoy and other conservation groups to drop the controversial shark-deterrent method.
“It should not be up to individuals and organisations to advise the government that one of their taxpayer-funded death traps has entangled a dolphin,” Mr Borell said.
The Department’s website says drum lines are used over shark nets because it’s less likely other marine life will be caught in the drum lines.
Drum lines and shark nets are both used on the Sunshine Coast.