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29 January 2015 - HSI Action Alert - Australia takes unprecedented backwards step on shark conservation      


Australia takes unprecedented backwards step on shark conservation

Humane Society International (HSI) is in need of your help again in relation to sharks. As a result of your actions the WA Government has had to accept the advice of experts and call off the cull, but unfortunately they continue to keep alive the option to catch and kill sharks they deem to be of ‘serious threat’. HSI continues to watch this closely and the campaign continues

However, on this occasion we have with different shark news. Last November, HSI celebrated the unprecedented new global conservation measures agreed for a range of shark and ray species (21 species) under the Convention for Migratory Species (CMS), an important campaign we were very proud to be involved in.

But in an unprecedented act of domestic and international environmental vandalism, the Australian Government has chosen to take out a reservation against the listings of all three species of thresher sharks and two hammerhead sharks which were all provided with crucial international protection at the November CMS meeting. This means that Australia is refusing to take action for these species in Australian waters – and they will not be bound by the measure that they actually supported at the CMS meeting late last year. While Australia has been a long-term and strong conservation player at the CMS, it has never before taken a reservation against a globally agreed conservation measure by the treaty.

In effect what this means is that Australia has signalled to the world that they do not believe they have to take any further conservation measures to protect thresher and hammerhead sharks in domestic waters, but they expect the international community to take action!  This is a significant backwards step from a country that once led the way in international shark conservation, and I’m sure you agree a very disturbing development.

Australia’s reasoning is that our domestic laws already provide equal protection to the CMS listing, and therefore no further action is required. However the decline in catch of Scalloped hammerhead sharks in Australian waters by more than 70% in the past ten years clearly indicates they need greater protection. Australia’s actions can therefore only be viewed as a political decision designed to appease fishing groups.

ACTION REQUIRED: Please write to Environment Minister Greg Hunt MP and let him know that you do not support Australia’s move to not protect three thresher shark species and two hammerhead species as migratory under our national environment laws. Ask the Minister to reverse his decision and to immediately withdraw the reservation so that Australia’s reputation can be salvaged, before it is too late.

Send Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt MP an email letting him know you don't support this backwards step

Please take action as soon as possible

With thanks,

Michael Kennedy

Campaign Director 


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