Failure to Protect Grey Nurse Shark Threatens Commercial Fishing Industry
The NSW Government is running out of time to meet its legal requirements under the Wildlife Trade Operation (WTO) approval recommended by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on the recent Grey Nurse Shark’s legal case. Environmental groups have joined forces urging immediate action before this shark becomes extinct.
“The court recognised that the Grey Nurse Shark is at dire risk of extinction, and held the NSW Department of Primary Industries responsible to implement fishery closures for the Grey Nurse Shark by November 16th,” Cate Faehrmann, executive director of the Nature Conservation Council said today.
“There are 16 known areas where the Grey Nurse Shark feeds and breeds that will require a 1500m area closed to fishing if the Grey Nurse Shark is to have any hope of survival,” said Nicky Hammond, marine program manager of the National Parks Association of New South Wales.
“Surveys done by the NSW Department of Primary Industries and others have clearly shown that fewer than 500 grey nurse sharks remain off the east coast of Australia and unless significant action is taken to protect them, these animals will become extinct within our lifetimes,” explained Danielle Annese, program officer of the Humane Society International.
“In 2003, the CSIRO recommended to the NSW Government that it was vital to create 1,500m marine sanctuaries around key habitat areas to save this species,” said Dr. Gilly Llewellyn, oceans program leader with WWF-Australia.
“Australia has been at the forefront of environmental legislation for many years, but the extinction of the Grey Nurse Shark on the east coast of Australia will be a shameful legacy to carry. We expect the NSW Government to take action and protect the Grey Nurse Shark from a stark future,” said Darren Kindleysides, campaigns manager with the International Fund for Animal
“If the government doesn’t act now to protect the Grey Nurse Shark, our commercial fishing industry could be in breach of the law and liable to lose its export licence,” said Cate Faehrmann.