by Natalie Banks - Operation Apex Harmony Shark Coordinator
Mother tries desperately to keep her calf alive
In 1962 the Queensland Government started a program to install drum lines and shark nets at popular beaches along its coastline. Today, what started with 24 drum lines within the Gold Coast region, has expanded to over 360 drum lines and 30 shark nets, causing death and injury to thousands of marine animals each year.
Over the course of 52 years, almost 50,000 sharks have been caught in the shark control program and reportedly more than 53,000 other marine animals have been caught as ‘by-catch’; including whales, dolphins, dugongs, seals, marine turtles, rays and other marine life.
This footage illustrates the indiscriminate way drum lines capture marine life. A juvenile dolphin called Kyra by Seaworld in Queensland, is caught on the drum line with the hook embedded in her stomach, as her mother tries desperately to do what she can to keep her alive. As Kyra tried to free herself, she continuously rubbed against the chain associated with the drum line, eventually leaving her blind in one eye. Kyra was taken to Seaworld as a result of this incident and remains in captivity. This is just one episode of thousands that take place from Queensland Shark Control Program. Sea Shepherd’s Apex Harmony Campaign focuses on removing lethal shark control measures and installing non-lethal options currently available.
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