Death of largest tiger shark is a disgrace
Humane Society international (HSI) regards the recent catch and killing of a 625.5 kilo tiger shark as a conservation travesty which should never be permitted again.
HSI marine scientist Jessica Morris said today, “We are deeply concerned about the catching and killing of this tiger shark. The fact that such an animal can be killed with impunity and without consideration for the conservation of the species and the effects upon our marine ecosystems, highlights the current problems surrounding “game fishing” and the lack of reasonable regulation imposed.
The removal of top-order predators such as tiger sharks is having severe ramifications for our marine life, and new studies have shown just how important tiger sharks are in some of our most critical marine ecosystems, including our world heritage reefs.
Ms Morris continued, “Tiger sharks are killed by the thousands every year as a result of Shark Control Programs, and commercial and recreational fishers. In New South Wales alone, every fisher can catch one tiger shark per day by law, so if there are 6 fishers per boat for example, 6 tiger sharks could be taken in a day (assuming they don’t exceed the bag limit). Multiply this by the thousands of fishers in this state and it is not hard to see what damage can be done.”
We need to be extremely cautious about the number of these animals being killed as a result of human impacts, with many shark species already threatened or on the verge of being threatened with extinction. Currently, tiger sharks are not protected under any State or Federal legislation but obviously, as seen this week in Lake Macquarie, bag and size limits for sharks are no longer suitable management options.
“The fact that these fishermen have gone underground, and are refusing to speak to media, shows that people’s tolerance for the killing of these magnificent animals is becoming sorely tested. The public will no longer pardon this kind of behaviour.”
“HSI is calling upon the state government to review the conservation status of the tiger shark and to halt the catching of tiger sharks while this review occurs. We would also like to see a complete overhaul of the current bag limits for all sharks targeted in recreational fishing. HSI specialises in gaining legal protection for sharks in Australia and internationally, and we will be looking at future legal options available to us to effectively protect all shark species,” Ms Morris concluded.