Shark nets in Queensland will be fitted with “pingers” designed to alert migrating whales to the presence of shark nets, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The move marks an attempt to help prevent whales from becoming entangled in the nets. In 2009, six whales were trapped in the shark nets, which have stirred up controversy in the past. All six of the whales trapped last year were successfully freed.
The shark nets are already equipped with pingers designed to alert dolphins. The whale pingers will a “longer and louder noise” as compared to the dolphin pingers, according to Primary Industries Minister Tim Mulherin, who went on to note that the pingers are designed only to alert the whales of the presence of the nets not to scare them away.
Multiple prototypes will be fitted to the nets this week as a test run. The goal is to have the alarms on all the shark nets by August when younger whales are more likely to come in close proximity to the nets.