Following on from the declaration by a NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) official that they will not attend the nets on the NSW North Coast should any live animals such as rays and turtles become entangled, Sea Shepherd Australia and Humane Society International suggest that NSW DPI could be in breach of their own management and fauna disentanglement plans.
Sea Shepherd Australia’s spokesperson Allyson Jennings said: “We have sought preliminary legal advice which has indicated that NSW DPI may have breached their management and fauna disentanglement plans one or more times.
“This is unacceptable behaviour by the NSW Government who clearly cannot be trusted to administer their own plans and follow the legislation. We will be seeking to take the matter further.”
Humane Society International, Marine Scientist Jessica Morris said: “We have seen the latest data showing more harmless sharks, rays and turtles are being needlessly killed, and now the news that DPI may be contravening their management plans, and could be in breach of NSW legislation, we think it’s time our Government recognises the trial as the huge failure it is.”
“Shark attacks are not the norm – they are traumatic but they are rare, and we need to realise that nets are doing more harm than good. We cannot afford to lose any more of these animals due to a fear and falsehood about sharks,” said Ms Morris.
Sea Shepherd also contends that leaving any live animal to die in the shark nets creates an increased risk of human-shark interactions as passing marine predators such as sharks will seek the animal as a free meal.
“It is time the NSW Government stops providing the communities of Northern NSW a false sense of security. There are non-lethal options available to be implemented right now at these beaches. Ocean users deserve better protection than this farcical trial and our marine life does not deserve to die,” said Ms Jennings.
For further information:
Sea Shepherd Australia
M: 0422 958 842
Humane Society International – Australia
M: 0411 273 138