Discrepancies in the actual number of drum lines verses permitted
Sea Shepherd Australia is demanding answers regarding the use of up to nine drum lines being used within the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park without a required permit. After extensive conversations with both the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Department of Fisheries Queensland, Sea Shepherd has uncovered a range of discrepancies, the most damning being the use of up to nine drum lines by the Queensland Government, without permission from the federally governed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
Managing Director for Sea Shepherd Australia, Jeff Hansen is shocked that the Queensland Government could get this process so wrong, by not only using more drum lines than permitted, but also having discrepancies within the Department of Fisheries own public records.
“It is beyond belief that the Department of Fisheries Queensland can show such disdain for marine creatures by having these death traps in the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to begin with, let alone having more drum lines than permitted, causing more damage to our precious marine ecosystems.”
“Questions must be asked how this could occur, and we are now requesting the Federal Government to thoroughly investigate the way the Queensland Government deploys its drum lines.”
This request comes after Sea Shepherd uncovered an application by the Queensland Government to continue using drum lines in the Great Barrier Reef, lodged six years ago in April 2009, which to date has gone unanswered by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. This was part of an investigation which led to a petition run by Sea Shepherd Australia requesting the removal of drum lines and shark nets within the UNESCO Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, attracting over 34,500 signatures.
The petition was forwarded to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in April this year, and Sea Shepherd is still awaiting a response.
“These Government agencies are blatantly treating endangered and protected marine life with utter disdain, and should be completely embarrassed of the lack of importance they have placed on these issues. It shows a complete disconnection from nature and a lack of respect for our precious marine life and future generations” Mr Hansen said.
“Last year in Western Australia, we saw the state’s Environmental Protection Authority raise concern over the impacts of 76 drum lines which ultimately stopped the program, yet just in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park alone, there is more than 190 drum lines being used; with non-lethal shark mitigation strategies available today, we don’t need to choose between protecting people or marine life, we can do both.”
Discrepancies between the numbers of drum lines and nets used in Queensland depicted on PDF maps and within Excel spreadsheets can be found on the Department of Fisheries website page: https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/fisheries/services/shark-control-program/shark-control-equipment-and-locations - specifically Emu Park, Fishermans, Trinity, Yorkey’s Knob and Halloways beaches.
While the discrepancies between the number of drum lines permitted and used can be seen when comparing the PDF maps and spread sheets to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authorities permit (attached) – specifically Cooee Bay, Elmeo Beach, Florence Bay and Radical Bay.