Sea Shepherd Australia is backing Ballina mayor, Councillor David Wright’s change of stance who is now against the New South Wales Government’s shark net trial.
Representing Sea Shepherd Australia, Mr Jonathan Clark said: “This seems to give the NSW Government nowhere to go except to abandon the shark net trial. The Byron Bay Council voted against the nets and they were not installed.
"Ballina Council voted for them and has been part of the destruction of innocent marine life since. With this change of stance from the mayor, we expect the council will have to move with him. Without local support, these nets that have provided only a false sense of security must be removed immediately.”
Mr Clark said: “The mayor is finally following the community of Ballina Shire which has a majority of people who are against the shark net trial.”
Mr Clark cited the net trial data: “The February 2018 trial data has to be the last nail in the coffin on top of the previous data which has continued to show a sub 3% catch rate of targeted animals. The 2018 trial has caught 110 animals resulting in the death of 45% of them including 2 dolphins. At least 4 turtles have been caught with this number disputed as dead turtles have washed ashore.
“Should the NSW Government and DPI refuse to bow to the inevitable, they are sure to start catching whales as the annual northerly migration of humpbacks will commence in the coming months," Mr Clark added.
“Minister for the Environment, Josh Frydenberg’s spurious exemptions citing ‘national interest’ for this trial has been brought into question with its serious failure. Sea Shepherd remains resolute in its work to bring actual transparency to the plight of marine life that has been devastated by this irrational trial of destructive mesh nets.”
Mr Clark added: “Minister Frydenberg was disingenuous when he said: ‘The NSW Government will put in place a range of measures to minimise impacts to the environment, including procedures to release all live fauna with the least possible harm and to avoid the deployment of mesh nets during peak whale migration.’ This clearly has not happened and the nets must go.”
Sea Shepherd Australia urges the Federal and State Governments to adopt the recommendations of the 2017 Senate Inquiry “Shark mitigation and deterrent measures” especially to “phase out shark meshing programs and increase funding and support for the development and implementation of a wide range of non-lethal shark mitigation and deterrent measures.”
Frydenberg, J., Second exemption granted for NSW shark net trial, accessed 18 March, 2018
Parliament of Australia, Shark mitigation and deterrent measures, accessed 18 March, 2018