Octopus fishing puts Western Cape whales at risk

eNCA's Nadine Theron has more.

JOHANNESBURG - Environmentalist outraged after footage of a whale dying during octopus fishing in the Western Cape circulates on social media.

Fishers been conducting a research project with the Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs Department.

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Initial reports state eight whales have died in the past two years. 

But environmental managers claim only three whales have died over a five-year period.

Octopus fisher, Gary Nel has changed the system used for octopus fishing significantly following a disastrous beginning to the research project.

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"The first fifteen years of the experiment was literally a disaster for everyone, learning curves for everyone, we used the wrong gear, completely the wrong gear it was a complete failure."

Craig Foster from the Sea Change Project said,  "It's highly disturbing to see a huge animal like that getting caught sometimes they get freed and like the other day that animal dies a horrific death."