DISTRESSING photos have emerged of a humpback whale entangled in netting off the coast of Hervey Bay.
Dean Jefferys, skipper of marine conservation vessel Migaloo Two, spotted the mammal on Sunday near Rooney's Point, on the north-western side of Fraser Island.
"I recognised the shark nets as I nearly got caught up in them myself when I sailed Migaloo Two past Kirra on the Gold Coast a month ago," Mr Jefferys said.
The current condition of the whale is unknown. Mr Jefferys said he followed it in an inflatable boat for 20 minutes afterwards and it appeared to be swimming freely.
"I didn't want to cause more stress so I took some photos and sadly left it to an uncertain fate," he said.
Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing regional director Sunshine and Fraser Coast Peter Wright said rangers were monitoring the situation but had been unable to locate the whale.
Fisheries Queensland Shark Control Program manager Jeff Krause said the whale was thought to be the one which struck a net a fortnight ago.
"It is believed this is the same whale reported to the public on August 7 as striking a net on the Gold Coast," Mr Krause said.
He said the patrol team would look into any sightings.
The closest shark nets are at Rainbow Beach and Bundaberg.
If you see the humpback whale tangled in the shark net, phone Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol on 1300 130 372.
- July 26: Rescue teams free whale entangled in a shark net off Noosa
- August 14: Whale caught in shark nets off Coolangatta is freed
- August 18: Whale entangled in shark nets spotted swimming near Fraser Island