The humpback population has recovered miraculously from near extinction, but increasing numbers – and climate change – mean more tragic encounters with the snares left by humans

Wayne Phillips has both feet firmly on dry land as he acts out cutting a whale loose from fishing gear.

The 51-year-old head of marine sciences at SeaWorld in Queensland oversees the park’s marine rescue team – four cutters, a coordinator, a captain and a videographer – who untangle humpback whales that have become bound up in rope and net.

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