Unsustainable shark fishery targets fins for export
Humane Society International today expressed its disbelief at the approval given to a shark fishery in NSW for operating in an ecologically sustainable manner, despite scientific advice that there is a lack of knowledge of the shark populations involved as well as a lack of even basic reliable data on historical catch. Despite this, the Minister has approved a quota far in excess of the historical average.
“The Minister’s approval of the shark fishery is a smack in the face for the precautionary principle” said HSI’s Alexia Wellbelove. “It is well understood internationally that targeted shark fisheries are inherently unsustainable, yet Minister Burke has signed off on a quota in excess of even the historical average, in full knowledge of expert advice that there is no sound scientific basis for this quota. Instead of approving this fishery, the Minister should be taking the lead and ensuring an end to targeted shark fishing in Australia.”
The fishery involved, NSW’s Ocean Trap and Line Fishery, targets large, mature sharks for their fins which are subsequently exported overseas. This is a wasteful practice, which targets shark species for which little data is known. The fishing practices involved also has numerous impacts on protected species such as the critically endangered Grey Nurse shark.
“Worldwide, sharks are under increasing pressure, and in need of greater protection not less. This decision by the Minister is therefore incredibly disappointing.”