Natal Sharks Board spokesperson Michael Anderson-Reade confirmed the incident, saying that it was unfortunate.
“We towed the adolescent whale back out to sea with ski-boats … but it sadly died once we got into the deep.”
He said it wasn’t a frequent incident and that from time to time, big mammals are caught in the nets.
“The nets are there for our protection, but the reality is that other species are entangled every so often.”
WildlifeExtra.com said over the last three decades more than 33 000 sharks have been killed in Natal Sharks Board shark nets.
A further 2 000 turtles, 8 000 rays, and 2 000 dolphins were also ensnared and killed.