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17th July - Death of newborn calf a wake up call to remove lethal shark nets      



17th July 2017

Humane Society International repeats our call for an end to lethal shark nets after a baby humpback whale died at the weekend as a result of being caught in a shark net off the Gold Coast.

The whale’s mother was also caught in the net but was released alive.

“How many more marine animals must die before our governments accept that shark nets simply imperil marine animals that are supposed to be protected while doing nothing for human safety?” asked Nicola Beynon, Humane Society International’s Head of Campaigns in Australia.

“With the whale migration season beginning weeks ago, the shark nets should have been removed at Gold Coast beaches to ensure the safe passage of whales as they move towards warmer waters,” added Ms Beynon.

A trial of shark nets on the North Coast of New South Wales ended early in May due to the beginning of the whale migration season, which sees some 20,000 humpbacks making a northward journey along Australia’s east coast.

“Getting caught in these nets would have been such a distressing experience for the mother and newborn calf. Having invested so much in her calf the mother has had to swim on alone,” added Ms Beynon.

Three humpbacks have died and 30 others have had to be rescued after becoming entangled in shark nets in the past decade.

Humane Society International is warning that shark nets do not make beaches safer for swimmers while creating a lethal hazard for marine life, and is calling for governments to wake up to non-lethal shark control technologies.

“In NSW, 65% of shark incidents have occurred on netted beaches, which clearly shows that they actually don’t make our beaches any safer. Governments need to be investing in non-lethal shark detection programs that don’t pose a risk to marine life,” concluded Ms Beynon.


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