SHARK NET DATA SHOWS NETS ARE AN UTTER FAILURE
11th January 2018
The second exemption for the lethal shark net trial on the NSW North Coast has caused the unnecessary deaths of more endangered marine life, says Humane Society International. The shocking data released yesterday shows the decision by Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg and the NSW Government to allow nets on the North Coast was reckless, and is proving to be a huge failure.
“Just as we feared, the nets have now captured a critically endangered grey nurse shark, more threatened and protected marine turtles, and an array of other harmless sharks and rays. While the grey nurse shark was released alive from the nets, this species is highly susceptible to post-release mortality due to the stress of such an event,” said Jessica Morris, Humane Society International’s Marine Scientist.
The data shows the North Coast nets caught just one target shark.
“Last year’s NSW North Coast Shark Net Trial was an utter failure, and after only seven weeks, this year’s trial is a complete disaster. The Federal Environment Minister needs to re-think his decision to allow shark nets and focus on his real job which is to ensure our endangered species are protected,” continued Ms Morris.
“Shark attacks are not the norm – they are traumatic but they are rare, and we need to realise that nets are doing more harm than good. Nets have been proven ineffective in reducing the already low risk of a shark bite. If you look at the data almost two thirds of shark bites occur on beaches WITH nets. It is unfathomable that in 2018 we are killing our protected marine life out of falsehood and fear – it is such a waste.”
In November 2017, Minister Frydenberg gave a two year exemption to the NSW Government to conduct further shark net trials between 1 November 2017 and 31 October 2019, despite the shocking marine animal death statistics and negative community feedback after the first trial concluded in May 2017.
Since the second shark net trial began on November 24th, 2017 animals ensnared on nets include:
- 2 great hammerheads – both dead
- 4 common blacktip sharks – 3 dead
- 1 hawksbill turtle – dead
- 1 green turtle – dead
- 2 loggerhead turtles
- 1 critically endangered greynurse shark
- 25 Australian cownose rays – 7 dead
- 11 pygmy devilrays – 9 dead
Of the 54 animals caught in the nets since November 2017, only one was a target species.