Video: Trapped Humpback Whale Freed From Nets off Australia's East Coast

A humpback whale got trapped in netting off the coast of Australia on Thursday.

Rescue workers from Sea World removed the netting and buoys from the humpback whale off North Stradbroke Island in Queensland. This coast is known for its beaches, and to protect tourists from sharks, the government put out a series of nets that environmentalists have contested as a threat to the other wild animals that swim through those waters.

It is not clear if this whale was trapped in shark nets. A nearby fisherman saw the whale and alerted the rescue team. It took just 90 minutes to free the animal, The Herald Sun reported.

Earlier in July, another whale was caught on video as it thrashed trying to escape a shark net off of Australia's east coast.

"These shark nets are indiscriminate killers. There's whales, dolphins. Turtles, dugongs—a whole range of animals caught," Sea World Director of Marine Sciences Trevor Long said at the time.

Surveillance cameras are placed near some Queensland beaches, so that wildlife officials can monitor the nets to make sure whales are not trapped for very long.

Thousands of humpbacks swim north from waters in the Antarctic up Australia's Gold Coast between April and August every year to feed and mate in warm tropical seas, according to The Guardian.

Tourists flock to the coast to take whale-watching trips at the start of the season. Last year, a record number of whales were expected to swim through these waters, marine biologist Zara King told ABC News.

Since the federal government banned whale poaching in the 1970s, the humpback population has increased. Almost every year, the Australian coast is seeing more whales. Last year, biologists estimated that there were as many as 27,000, King said.

Nets and other traps left in the water present some of the biggest threats to these marine mammals, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported. Marine biologists and wildlife activists have come forward to dispute the use of shark nets.

Since whales launch themselves out of the water and dive back in, it is easy for them to become trapped. Some never escape and suffer a long painful death, Long said.

Video: Trapped Humpback Whale Freed From Nets off Australia's East Coast | Tech & Science