The Queensland Shark Control Program: A Placebo for Ocean User Safety
The Queensland Shark Control Program tour is well underway with our Queensland Apex Harmony Coordinator Jonathan Clark documenting the drum lines and nets on Apex Harmony vessel, Grey Nurse, from Cairns to the Gold Coast, assisted by local Sea Shepherd volunteers and other community group volunteers. Currently, Jonathan is in Townsville.
So far the crew has found several animals (non target and target) alive or dying on the drum line hooks such as 3+m Tawny Nurse shark, 3.5m male Tiger shark, a juvenile tiger shark and a black tip shark both less than 2m in length.
More concerning is the discovery that the Queensland Government's false sense of safety is nothing more than a placebo. On one run, only 3 drum lines had fish head baits out of 54 drum lines.
Jonathan said: "For successive governments of both blue and red flavours to use the small number of fatalities that occur to claim that the system works ignores various factors at play such as improved response time due to surf lifesavers, emergency first aid and public awareness - and has nothing to do with drum lines and nets."
The Queensland Shark Control Program also operates within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, areas where we are supposed to champion tourism ventures that care about marine life and the environment. This archaic program has killed thousands of marine animals, some of which are protected including dugongs, rays, turtles, dolphins and humpback whales.
We encourage you to voice your concerns about this lethal technology by respectfully emailing the Hon. Mark Furner - Queensland Minister for Fisheries via: firstname.lastname@example.org
Third Shark Net Trial Cancelled on NSW North Coast
Recently, the NSW Government announced that the third trial of shark nets off beaches on the NSW North Coast would not be going ahead due to safety concerns.
Sea Shepherd’s NSW Coordinator Allyson Jennings said: “Today’s announcement is a decision for common sense. When 97% of the animals caught in the nets were not target sharks and the local community confidence in the nets is as low as 32%, it was madness that the NSW government could even consider a third trial. DPI’s data supports how ineffective these nets really are in terms of ocean user safety and are nothing but passive fishing devices which kill marine life.”
Sea Shepherd has advocated for years that shark nets provide nothing but a false sense of safety to ocean users and strongly encourages the NSW Government to abandon the remaining trial period, instead investing money in a shark spotting program and other non-lethal methods such as Clever Buoy and other technologies which protect ocean users effectively and avoid indiscriminately killing marine life.