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18th August - Hundreds of animals lose their lives in another lethal shark net season      



18th August 2017

Humane Society International is again condemning the NSW Shark Meshing Program, with the latest 2016/2017 statistics released showing over 373 animals were captured in nets. Tragically, many were critically endangered, threatened and protected species.

"Every year the shocking statistics are released by NSW DPI, and every year we see the nets go back in the water. There is no justification for the use of lethal shark nets, and with the death of 6 critically endangered grey nurse sharks in the last meshing season there is an urgent need for the government to move to non-lethal technology,” said Jessica Morris, Humane Society International Marine Scientist.

The NSW Shark meshing program runs every year from the 1st of September to the 30th of April, and stretches from Newcastle to Wollongong. Of the 373 animals that were reported entangled in the nets during the 2016/2017 period, 301 were non-target species and the majority are threatened and/or protected in NSW or under Federal legislation:

• 17 Grey Nurse Sharks, 6 killed (Critically endangered)

• 22 White Sharks, 14 killed (Vulnerable)

• 1 Great Hammerhead, killed (Endangered)

• 1 Scalloped Hammerhead, killed (Vulnerable)

• 6 Green Turtles, 4 killed (Vulnerable)

• 2 Hawksbill Turtles, both killed (Vulnerable)

• 1 Loggerhead Turtle (Endangered)

• 1 Leatherback Sea Turtle (Endangered)

• 2 Common Dolphins, both killed (Protected)

• 2 Indo-Pacific Bottlenose Dolphins, both killed (Protected)

• 1 Australian Fur Seal (Protected)

• 165 Rays, 45 killed (Protected/Non-Target)

• 71 Smooth Hammerheads, all killed (Non-Target)

• 5 Angel Sharks, 1 killed (Non-Target)

• 1 Thresher Shark, killed (Non-Target)

• 2 Port Jackson Sharks (Non-Target)

• 1 Finfish, killed (Non-Target)

It is not known how many of the animals released alive actually survive after their ordeal.

"Nets are killing the threatened marine life our governments are legally responsible for protecting, plain and simple. They are an outdated and ineffective technology that does not reduce the already low risk of a shark bite. There is no scientific evidence that shark populations are increasing. Most shark populations are in crisis.

"Humane Society International asks the NSW Government to put a stop to the carnage. This has to be the last meshing season. We cannot afford to keep losing grey nurse sharks, marine turtles and rays in such numbers every year if we want to see these species survive in the long-term,” Ms Morris concluded.


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