Rescued Coast whale ‘covered in sea lice’

A HUMPBACK whale freed from shark nets off Currumbin was in "pretty poor condition" when rescued yesterday afternoon.

Authorities were alerted after a whale watcher spotted it around 11.30am, and it was freed almost three hours later.

Sea World's Assistant Manager Marine Sciences Marnie Horton said the animal was thin and covered in sea lice when her team reached the net.

"Once the actual cutting started it was a really quick operation, just 10 minutes until the animal was free," she said.

"It just had a single line of the net through its mouth, so once that was cut and we pulled it through it swam off. That was a reasonable simple operation for us."

This rescue marks the fourth rescue this year and the third whale freed from shark nets.

Late last week another whale was spotted off the Seaway with towing two buoys from rope caught around its tail. It was freed with soft tissue damage.

Last month a juvenile humpback was cut free from shark nets off Main Beach, however it's believed to have been trapped for hours before rescuers arrived.

The incident sparked renewed calls for an open forum on shark mitigation measures, including by Sea World Gold Coast Marine Sciences director Trevor Long.

Mr Long told the Gold Coast Bulletin at the time he feared more whales could become snagged in nets off the Gold Coast through migration season.