HSI calls for legal protection for tiger sharks and seeks legal advice should the government consider killing great whites
Humane Society International (HSI) is calling for legal protection for the much maligned tiger shark and will seek legal advice from the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) should the state government even consider killing great white sharks.
HSI is also calling for a calm and reasoned approach to the issue of shark encounters on the mid-North coast and an end to media sensationalism of the matter. The front-page coverage in the Daily Telegraph of the slaughtered tiger shark is an unhelpful and shallow ploy to sell newspapers, and appalling journalism, especially since the provenance of the photo is somewhat suspicious.
HSI Director Michael Kennedy said, “Reading the cover of the Daily Telegraph this morning, we could almost hear the theme-tune from Jaws playing in the office. Taking the media coverage of sharks in the past week on face value, you would think that sharks are at war with humans. In fact it is humans that are at war with sharks.”
We do not have enough scientific data about shark populations on the coast of NSW to know whether increased interactions are due to more sharks, but this is highly unlikely in HSI’s view. Sharks populations are decreasing across the board while human populations are increasing.
Tiger sharks have an important role in marine ecosystems as a top predator, as demonstrated by recent research conducted by the Australian Institute of Marine Science in conjunction with the CSIRO[i].Tiger sharks are not protected under Australian law which allows them to be taken by fishermen. The NSW government should review their conservation status and introduce some form of basic protections. Global shark population numbers are crashing as a result of commercial fishing, recreational fishing and various shark control programs.
Mr Kennedy concluded, “As the organisation that played a significant role in gaining protection for the great white shark in NSW, nationally and around the world, along with many other shark species, we are now calling for legal protection for the much maligned tiger shark in this state and nationally, and are seeking legal advice from the Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) in NSW should the state government even consider killing great white sharks.”