Rare Mobula Rays found by Sea Shepherd crew dead in Queensland Shark Nets – one with large bites!
Sea Shepherd crew aligned with the Apex Harmony Campaign, have made a gruesome discovery of two rare mobula rays, which appear to be Japanese Devilrays, dead in a shark net, 100 meters from each other at Miami Beach on the Gold Coast. One of the rays, had two large bites within its body, appearing to have come from a shark.
Japanese Devilrays have rarely been documented in Australia, with only two reported sightings throughout Australia recorded according to the Shark Red List Authority.
National Shark Campaign Coordinator, Natalie Banks is devastated that such a rare sighting of these rays now encompasses not one, but two deaths of these rays, in just one shark net and has called on the Queensland Fisheries Department to bring greater transparency to this program.
“The Gold Coast is a tourist mecca for Queensland, but we wonder if tourists would continue to come to these beaches if they knew the destruction and deaths of such magnificent marine life is occurring at the beaches they frequent and that these catches are attracting sharks to the area.”
“Moreover, the entrapment of such rare marine life, should trigger a review of the use of shark nets and drum lines, to see whether they should be removed during certain times of the year.”
Queensland’s shark control program utilises over 360 drum lines and 30 shark nets throughout the state, and unlike New South Wales, which removes shark nets during winter months, Queensland uses these implements every day of the year.
“While we support the notion that human life needs to be a key factor in deciding the best way protect beach users, there are programs that have proven to be successful which doesn’t destroy precious marine life,” Ms Banks said.
“Sea Shepherd, in conjunction with No Shark Cull has invited the Queensland Government to meet with representatives from Cape Town’s Shark Spotters program in March and is hopeful that a representative will attend on behalf of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who has advised that she has other engagements.”
Sea Shepherd’s Apex Harmony Campaign is focused on solutions to reduce shark bites, which do not negatively impact the marine environment and has arranged with No Shark Cull, a crowd-funding campaign for Shark Spotters to visit Australia. The visit will incorporate site visits to local beaches in Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales, as well as community forums, which will be open to the public.
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