Shark control programs a serious threat to critically endangered grey nurse sharks
Humane Society International (HSI) has today welcomed the long awaited publication of the Recovery Plan for the Grey Nurse Shark (Carcharias taurus).
HSI has long advocated the need for greater conservation efforts to be dedicated to the grey nurse shark, whose east coast population is listed as critically endangered. As a member of the recovery team for the grey nurse shark HSI has been seeking to ensure that every effort is being made to reduce the threats to this species.
It is clear from the publication of the recovery plan today that New South Wales and Queensland shark control programs are ‘a significant and ongoing source of mortality for the east coast grey nurse shark population’.*
Next week marks the start of September, which for NSW is the start of a new shark meshing season, with shark nets being put back in the water until the end of April after being taken out over the winter months.
“The publication of the grey nurse shark recovery plan is a timely reminder that the shark control programs in NSW and Queensland have real impacts on a critically endangered and harmless shark, the grey nurse shark,” said HSI’s Senior Program Manager Alexia Wellbelove. “With an estimated east coast population of approximately 1365 individual grey nurse sharks, states must realise that every shark matters and it is time to make a concerted effort to avoid any future deaths.”
“History tells us that shark nets in NSW in particular have a significant impact on this species and so we are calling for an end to lethal shark control not only for the sake of the east coast population of grey nurse sharks, but for the countless other whales, dolphins, dugongs, rays and other marine animals caught and killed in these nets each year. We urge the NSW and Queensland Governments to instead consider non-lethal alternatives in their place,” concluded Ms Wellbelove.