Barnett needs to listen to the community and end the shark cull
Following nationwide protests against West Australia’s new shark policy attended by many thousands of Australians, Humane Society International (HSI) is calling on Premier Barnett to listen to the community and end the killing of sharks. This new policy has already seen the killing of two tiger sharks, one of which was only two metres in length below the stated three metre threshold which is the focus of the policy. In addition, at least three more tiger sharks under three metres in length have been caught and released, with no knowledge of whether they have survived these captures.
“Sadly, as expected, this past weekend we have seen the death of another shark, this time a two metre tiger shark, the first of no doubt many more sharks and other marine animals that will be caught and killed unnecessarily,” said Humane Society International’s Senior Program Manager Alexia Wellbelove. “It is clear that the hooks placed in the water are not selective to sharks above three metres as suggested by the WA Government and they should be removed.”
“Thousands of people in Western Australia, around Australia, and around the world, from all walks of life, have now expressed their opposition to Premier Barnett. They are asking the Premier to listen to reason and the facts – that there is no scientific basis for this shark killing program, which instead is likely to have a significant impact on shark populations such as the great white shark, potentially removing key breeding females from a population already vulnerable to extinction,” continued Ms Wellbelove.
“It is clear that the WA shark killing policy is not only against the wishes of a broad sector of the community, but also in violation of both national and international laws and obligations. Given that sadly it is also unlikely to meet its aim of reducing risk to people, we have to ask why Premier Barnett continues with this sham of a policy?,” concluded Ms Wellbelove.
HSI considers the exemption of the WA policy under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) to be a serious abuse of the process for political purposes, and has urged both the Federal and State Governments to take a precautionary approach (as the EPBC Act requires) and end the cull. HSI is calling for the money spent on killing sharks to be invested in further research to better educate and inform our understanding of sharks.