When the Humane Society International (HSI) was involved in the original negotiations for the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 in the late 1990s, it promised a new era of environmental protection. The Federal Government had recognised its obligation to protect our environment at a national level and introduced...
Humane Society International (HSI) is deeply disappointed in the inaction of the Queensland Government with regard to the use of shark nets. We will once again remark that the Shark Control Program’s Scientific Working Group advised a removal of shark nets and replacement with alternatives during whale migration in September of last year. We understand that the decision has sat on the Minister’s desk since that time.
The distressing situation we are currently witnessing, a whale hopelessly wrapped in a shark net, is a direct result of this inaction.
Shark nets provide nothing more than a false sense of security, are outdated, and lethal to Queensland’s marine wildlife. We support the ongoing efforts of the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to investigate and trial new non-lethal technologies to reduce the risk of shark bite, and call for the immediate removal of the shark nets, at least during whale migration season.
Lawrence Chlebeck, marine biologist with HSI remarked, “There is no surprise this happened. And it will keep happening until a change is made. Queensland must listen to their experts and approach the issue of shark bite mitigation with reason and logic. What has happened to this humpback is a tragic and confronting example of what is happening to wildlife up and down the coast in the shark nets every day. It could have been avoided if the Minister acted on his scientific advice.”
For more information please see our full press release here.
Video footage of the whale entanglement is available here.
A video statement from Lawrence Chlebeck can be viewed here.