HSI urges an end to shark nets and the possession and sale of shark fins
Humane Society International (HSI) today expressed alarm at some statements being made by so-called experts regarding the state of Australia’s shark populations, following recent attacks in NSW and WA, and called for an end to shark netting and the possession and sale of shark fins.
“HSI is calling for much greater efforts to be taken to protect our sharks”, said HSI’s Alexia Wellbelove, “and the best first step is to remove shark nets and drumlines from our beaches in NSW and Queensland. These nets are indiscriminate killers of our marine life, including dugongs, turtles and other harmless sharks such as the critically endangered and harmless grey nurse shark and the great white shark. Targeted shark net 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.
As long lived species that are slow to reach maturity, our sharks are much more likely to be in decline than increasing given the number of threats they are facing. It has been estimated that up to 73 million are killed worldwide each year, many of which have their valuable fins removed whilst they are still alive to feed the demand for shark fin soup.
Ms Wellbelove said that, “the world’s sharks cannot survive this onslaught. We call upon Australian Governments to move to prohibit the possession and sale of shark fins, following the international lead of many other States such as Hawaii, California, Guam, the Maldives and Honduras.”
“It is not humans but sharks that are under attack in our oceans, and it is clear that sharks have much more to fear from humans than we do. Governments must act to protect them as urgently as possible,” concluded Ms Wellbelove.