Environment Minister Matt Kean was pleased to announce a young humpback whale has been freed after it was found wrapped in net, rope and buoys. Mr Kean congratulated the highly experienced disentanglement teams that carried out the dangerous task of freeing the distressed calf.

“It’s great to see the young whale free to be able to continue its journey south with its mother, and there is every reason to think it will be making many more,” Mr Kean said. “The operation was completed as a protective mother hovered anxiously nearby.

“Using a small inflatable boat, supported by a larger safety vessel, a crew of three cut the material in a delicate operation lasting about an hour. A small amount of remaining material is expected to dislodge over coming days. “Humpback Whales are commonly seen along the NSW Coast at this time of year, with around 35,000 animals migrating between their breeding waters in the warmer Coral Sea and their feeding grounds in the Antarctic.

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“One of Australia’s great achievements is protecting whales and we are seeing whale populations grow, as a result.“The increasing whale population also means we are likely to see more incidents like this where some whales will not complete the 5000-kilometre journey safely. “People can help whales by reporting any sightings of injured or entangled animals to their local NPWS Office or the ORRCA hotline 02 9415 3333.

“Disentangling whales is a dangerous and difficult job and I congratulate everyone involved in today’s result especially the National Parks and Wildlife Services, Water Police and ORRCA,” Minister Kean said