HELP PROTECT THE GREAT WHITE SHARK
On 10th December 2013, the Premier of Western Australia Colin Barnett, announced a new Government policy, involving the baiting and catching of sharks in two marine monitored areas off the West Australian coast. This program will put in place baited drum-lines 1 kilometre offshore, and also have an active component whereby sharks greater than 3 metres found within these marine monitored areas will be caught and killed.
HSI has publicly condemned this policy, and called on the Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt MP to conduct an assessment of the program under federal environment law, however so far our request has gone unanswered. HSI made this request on the basis of concerns that the proposed WA policy will have a significant impact on the white shark, which is listed under federal environment law as both a vulnerable species and a migratory species. HSI also believes that the policy will impact on a number of other listed threatened species such as the harmless grey nurse shark which could be caught and killed as bycatch.
HSI is not alone in our opposition to WA’s new policy. More than 100 scientists have written to the WA Premier expressing their deep opposition to the new policy, and other surfers and even shark bite survivors, such as Paul de Gelder, and the families of shark bite victims have spoken out against this new policy. And yet we can expect that the policy will be implemented and the hooks may be in the water within the next week.
The WA policy is seeking to govern the ungovernable - the low but often tragic risk of a shark bite. HSI understands the need to take every effort to protect ocean goers, but believes that the best way to protect people from the low risk of shark bites is through education, not the implementation of fear based campaigns which have no scientific basis and will not reduce the risk of shark bites. In addition, HSI believes that WA’s new policy will result in Australia failing to meet its obligations under international law.
Australia has historically been known and recognised worldwide as a country that has led the way on shark conservation, getting species such as the great white shark protected from the threats of international trade. Now Australia has become the laughing stock of the global shark conservation movement, which is now speeding ahead leaving us far behind. Please help HSI to try and get the Government to improve their shark conservation efforts by writing today, encouraging them to focus on conservation, not killing.
Please email the Federal Environment Minister, Greg Hunt MP, and the Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett MLA, using the links below. The email is pre-written and will allow you to add your own comments.
Click here to email the Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt MP
Click here to email the Premier of Western Australia Colin Barnett MLA