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Harrowing footage shows dolphin caught in controversial Queensland shark trap

It's not just target species that are caught by the controversial shark program.

A dolphin has been filmed struggling to break free from a shark-trapping device on the Sunshine Coast.

Harrowing video shows the animal still alive with its tail snared by a drumline — a controversial tool used in Queensland to mitigate shark attacks across the state’s beaches.

The 40-second clip was filmed near Kawana Beach on Thursday afternoon and shared by marine conservation group Envoy Foundation. It confirmed a witness had called on state authorities to assist.

A dolphin caught in a shark nets. A red circle around it.
A dolphin was filmed snared by a shark-trapping drumline on the Sunshine Coast. Source: Erin Kirkwood

While the state’s shark mitigation program has the purpose of keeping beachgoers safe from shark attacks, they frequently also harm dolphins, whales and endangered sea turtles, leading many conservation groups to call for alternatives to be used.

Anger after dolphin caught in shark mitigation device

Because the Palaszczuk Government has dismissed repeated calls for the state to overhaul its shark netting program, Envoy Foundation spokesperson Andre Borell said the premier “should be embarrassed” by today’s events.

"It should not be up to individuals and organisations to advise the government that one of their taxpayer-funded death traps has entangled a dolphin,” he said.

One unverified report suggests when the dolphin was initially freed, buoys from the drumline remained attached to its tail. While they were later removed, there are concerns the animal could be injured.

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