News

Expert speaks out on claims sick whales will be euthanised

AT RISK: Experts claim that sick whales may have to be euthanised due to a lack of food (krill) in the Southern Ocean.
AT RISK: Experts claim that sick whales may have to be euthanised due to a lack of food (krill) in the Southern Ocean. Contributed

A NORTHERN Rivers whale expert has spoken out following claims Queensland's Department of Environment may euthanise whales off the east coast in future due to sickness brought on by food shortages.

In a recent ABC Sunshine Coast report, Sea World director of marine sciences, Trevor Long, said whales would likely be euthanised along the coast of Australia in coming years by the department due to rising migration numbers and a lack of krill in southern oceans.

He said the ocean off south-east Queensland, a direct migration path for whales such as beloved albino humpback Migaloo, would see a rise in sick whales, making euthanasia necessary.

Mr Long said the drug Lethabarb would be used to euthanise smaller whales, while high-powered rifles and solid shot would be used for other whales.

"Before whaling nobody was harvesting krill," Mr Long told The Northern Star.

"Now, it is harvested for a variety of purposes..."

He believed this would have a considerable impact on krill stocks.

A Queensland National Parks spokeswoman did not refute euthanisation claims, instead saying "the response to a sick or injured whale will always depend on the specific circumstances".

"Any decision to euthanise the animal would be made with expert advice and the assistance of an experienced veterinary surgeon," she said.

"Consideration would also need to be given to the safety of staff and the public."

A NSW National Parks spokeswoman said whale euthanisation was "not something we're doing, or considering".

The Oceania Project researcher Wally Franklin, who is part of the Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre Group, said he believed food supplies were stable.

He said stranded whales were sometimes euthanised out of necessity, but he had not heard of euthanisation at sea.

"If that was happening it would be totally unacceptable, but I haven't heard anything about it," he said.

Mr Franklin disputed Mr Long's claims food stocks were depleting due to overpopulation of migration routes, which the Sea World scientist described as at "two-thirds" of capacity.

"That's absolute nonsense," he said.

"Population levels are about half of what they were prior to whaling.There's no evidence the food supplies are depleted or that this is a problem."

Topics:  euthanasia whales



WIN a fishing trip, $5000 BCF voucher and get free stuff

Want to catch one of these big fellas!? Get your name into our competition to win the ultimate fishing holiday!

WERE running a stack of reely incredible giveaways!

Three news subscriptions and a free paper for $3 - saywhat?!

No Caption

FORGET everything you thought you knew about a great deal.

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

Local Partners

High achievers honoured at Australia Day Awards

FIFTEEN new citizens to be welcomed and 27 exceptional citizens and groups honoured.


What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

'More sick people will be jailed': Confusion over medical cannabis

There is ongoing confusion about the legalities surrounding medical cannabis.

Is it legal? Where can you get it? What are your rights?

This week's Northern Rivers markets list

CASINO: McAuliffe Park in Hickey St is the venue for the new markets.

Check out the new Casino Riverside Markets this weekend

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

What's fresh at your local farmers' market

Chillies should be available at your local farmers' market. PHOTO: KATE O'NEILL

Chillies, figs, finger limes, eggplants are ripe for the eating

Agents desperate for stock as homebuyers circle region

Coorabell houses had a whopping median sale price of $1.4 million.

Lower price ranges stand out as Coffs property best sellers

7 quirky Airbnb homes on the Northern Rivers

Broken Head Bodhi Treehouse

Stay in a shipping container or treehouse for your next holiday

Controversial Iron Gates development renamed

Raine and Horne

Peaceful, pristine and perfect is the new motto for Iron Gates

'That’s the nature of commercial reality': Lismore council

GAME CHANGER: The $13 million proposal by Quest proposal is for a three-storey complex featuring 41 serviced apartments, 53 on-site carparks, 24-hour on-site management, a gymnasium and modern guest facilities.

"It's a shame the development is no longer on the table"

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!