Pingers to deter whales from shark nets

[15 June, 2010] New acoustic alarms are being installed on the shark nets around the Gold Coast last week, as Queensland Fisheries aim to prevent whales from getting tangled in the nets.

The new acoustic alarms, or pingers, feature a longer and louder alert than the old alarms which were specifically developed by a Queensland-based specialist acoustic device manufacturer to enable whales to better hear the noise.

“Last whale migration season, six animals were entangled in Queensland shark nets – all were successfully released by the State Government’s Marine Animal Release Team,” said Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries, Rural and Regional Queensland Tim Mulherin.

“It is important to recognise that these alarms are designed to alert whales to the presence of nets – they are not designed to scare them away from the equipment.”

13,000 whales are expected to pass by the Queensland coast this whale migration season, he adds.

Queensland fisheries intends to install three of these pingers on each shark net, from Gold Coast right up to Mackay. The entire process is expected to take three months.

  • NSW Government
  • National Parks & Wildlife Service NSW