Time to remove shark nets to protect our marine wildlife
With a fifth whale found tangled in shark nets this season off the Queensland coast, Humane Society International (HSI) has called on the NSW and Queensland Governments to remove shark nets for good.
“Shark nets and drumlines set in the waters off the East Coast of Australia may have been put in place to protect ocean users, but the reality is they cause far more harm to our marine life, whilst providing very little additional benefit to protect us from the tragic but rare event of shark encounters,” said HSI’s Senior Program Manager Alexia Wellbelove.
HSI believes that shark control programs are an out-dated and ineffective method of protecting the population, and that instead State Governments would be better investing in alternate strategies as well as further increasing capacity to educate ocean users of the risks of shark encounters.
Ms Wellbelove continued, “These nets are indiscriminate killers of our marine life, including dugongs, turtles, the great white shark and other harmless sharks such as the critically endangered grey nurse shark. Targeted shark control programs provide no real protection for humans, but are indiscriminate killers of our marine life.”
New South Wales law has recognised shark netting as a “key threatening process” since 2003, following a scientific submission to Government by HSI.