Baby whale dies in nets at Trafalgar

Baby whale dies in nets at Trafalgar

Down in Trafalgar, we managed to get this photograph, and an interview with the lifeguard on that beach – Philan “WaveOfHope” Sikobi, who was amongst the many locals who found the whale. This was on Tuesday. He was chased out of the water by a shark, as the blood from the whale spilled down into the shorebreak. The baby whale was full of lacerations – the photo shows only what is left after the locals hacked the animal to pieces.

Shark net characteristis lacerations clearly visible on baby dead whale

Net characteristic lacerations clearly visible on baby dead whale. Philan could not take any other photos before the whale was cut up and retrieved by locals.

Sean: Hi Philan, what a story man, are you ok?

Philan: Yeah man it was scary. Stupid shark came in real close to me. Twice! It was the smell of blood. When they start cutting that whale up on the beach.

Sean: Was the whale bitten by sharks already when it came up the beach?

Philan: No, it looked fine excepting for the net wounds.

Sean: Philan, the photograph does not show much detail. You gonna have to describe the cuts and lacerations for us.

Philan: Well they were deep, right through, and very square in shape. But what’s confusing me is, the shark nets had been taken out of the water the day before. So the nets weren’t even in that morning. But you could see it was definitely a large net of some sort.

Sean: Was it alive when it hit the beach?

Philan: No it was pretty much dead.

Sean: What time was that?

Philan: Early morning.

Sean: Is there anything else, you could possibly imagine, that could have inflicted the lacerations as you saw them?

Philan: Well, I just don’t know what else? Must have been shark nets the day before or something like that?

And then on Wednesday, a whale was reportedly entangled with the shark nets at Illovo. I never knew anyone even swam or surfed at Illovo? Or why the nets were put back in? It’s the middle of the sardine season. with whales, dolphins and sharks patrolling up and down in search. The annual influx of meshers have been netting sardines up and down the KZN coast the entire past month?!

Some older incidents of whales in the nets…

And from Australia, some theory as to why this happens…

Unbelievably, the Australians also use shark nets…this from three weeks ago…

With so many technological options on offer to the Kwazulu Natal Sharks Board, why is it, that they forego these less invasive and harmful methods, and to choose to use gill nets. The Australian Government have started alernatives installations with fantastic results.

Gill nets operate 24/7 (Who needs protection from sharks at night time?), and kill indiscriminately, with a massive by-catch. Dolphins (the most I ever seen in one NSB land cruiser was 6), whales, turtles, rays, harmless sharks, gamefish, birds…

By installing sonar at the beach (read previous article here), which only operates when people are actually surfing or swimming, and by equipping ocean users with Shark Shields – the savings would be immense. Financially. The Kwazulu Natal Sharks Board are spending R80 million or more per year killing sharks?! It would be a fraction of that to buy Shark Shields for every beach – give them to the lifeguards to rent to the public.

But it’s the savings to the environment we are really after.

We just cannot let this continue one more day!

Shark nets out!

1 comment for “Baby whale dies in nets at Trafalgar

  1. Anna
    Aug 9, 2017 at 6:38 am

    I have copies of photos taken before humans hacked her / him up. I can get permission to share if you are interested.

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