LETHAL SHARK NET DATA IS DAMNING
March 15th, 2018
New data from the second trial of lethal shark nets on the NSW North Coast has been released today showing only one of 56 poor animals ensnared in the nets was a target shark species. This proves the nets don’t work and will continue to kill harmless and threatened wildlife as long as they are installed, says Humane Society International.
“Figures from January and February show out of 56 caught animals 15 were killed, including dolphins, rays, and hammerhead sharks – which are harmless to humans. Only one of the animals captured was a target shark species,” said Jessica Morris, Humane Society International’s Marine Scientist.
Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg exempted the trial from the usual protection marine wildlife should receive under Australia’s national environment law.
The NSW North Coast net exemption allows shark net trials to continue until 31 October 2019, despite the shocking marine animal death statistics and negative community feedback after the first trial concluded last year.
“How many more months of damning data will it take for government to finally realise this experiment is an utter failure, and shut it down? Non-lethal alternatives to nets are available and we cannot afford to keep killing harmless and protected species for the next 18 months or more,” said Ms Morris.
Last season’s shark net trial on the North Coast caught 9 target sharks making up only 3% of the total catch, with the remaining 97% comprising harmless marine animals, including a critically endangered grey nurse shark, four dolphins and 11 threatened marine turtles. The current trial is following the same trend.
“The NSW and Federal Governments should be looking to personal deterrent devices, aerial and drone patrols, and social media updates to prevent shark and human encounters. Even the NSW SMART drumlines have a better track record and could replace the destructive nets.
“The use of nets is not even supported by the local community, the greater Australian public or tourists. Statements from the recent Senate Inquiry into shark mitigation found that those in the tourism industry were more concerned with tourists perceiving Australia to be inhumane to sharks, than them fearing them,” Ms Morris concluded.