Target: Seaworld Research and Rescue Foundation
Goal: Thank organization for safely rescuing a humpback whale that was trapped in nets near Australia’s Gold Coast
Australia’s Gold Coast is surrounded by extensive netting to deter sharks known to enter the area’s public beaches. The nets are not meant to catch anything, rather to section off the area for human beachgoers. However, a 33-foot-long (10 meter) humpback whale became entangled in the netting, a would-be devastating and perhaps deadly situation for the marine mammal. Yet, thanks to the Seaworld Research and Rescue Foundation, a nonprofit organization under Seaworld Australia, a trained team that monitors the surrounding waters around the clock came to the whale’s rescue.
As the institution’s website testifies, the team is on call 24 hours a day, imperative especially for the time-sensitive nature of whale rescues. Netting around the whale’s tail, for instance, means the whale could swim for weeks until becoming too fatigued to look for food. On the other hand, a whale with nets or other gear trapping its head could die much sooner. Rescuing whales is difficult and even dangerous work, says marine science scientist for the non-profit Oceana Amanda Keledjian in Newswatch National Geographic. Yet, the trained team that saved this humpback is equipped with the resources to conduct such operations, which unfortunately happen all too often – Keledjian reports that two-thirds of all large whale species become entangled in these beach protecting nets. Worse still is fishing equipment lying wait where fisheries overlap with whale habitat, which inadvertently traps many more whales than even beach nets do.
Certainly this incident brings into focus a greater tension among our commercial interests at sea, our desire to maintain shark-free public beaches, and our most majestic marine mammals. But to this humpback whale, one dedicated team supplied a second chance at life, and for that –for now— we should be grateful to them.
Dear Seaworld Research and Rescue Foundation,
I would like to thank you for rescuing the humpback whale off the Australian Gold Coast recently. I commend your bravery and unwavering dedication to protecting marine life, especially regarding the highly time-sensitive, difficult and even dangerous work of rescuing whales.
I understand that the type of netting that trapped the humpback, actually meant to protect public beaches from sharks, frequently entangles large whale species. As these mammals are perhaps the dearest, most majestic representation of marine life; it comforts and gratifies me to know you are on call 24 hours a day to protect them.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Bruce Everiss via bruceonshaving.com