LETHAL SHARK CULLING IN THE GREAT BARRIER REEF WILL END.
Humane Society International (HSI) has today secured a momentous win for sharks and the Great Barrier Reef. In April, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) ordered an end to the lethal component of the Queensland government’s Shark Control Program (SCP). Instead of accepting that decision and moving to implement non-lethal and more effective strategies for swimmer protection, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries’ (QDAF) appealed the decision on the grounds of legal and jurisdictional technicalities. That appeal was struck down today in the Federal Court of Australia, Brisbane, confirming there must be an end to 60 years of deliberately killing sharks on drumlines in the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef.
“This is a great day for sharks, the Great Barrier Reef, our oceans, and for Queensland” remarked Lawrence Chlebeck, Marine Campaigner with HSI.
“No longer will sharks senselessly die for a misguided sense of security, and now measures will be put in place that can actually reduce the incidence of shark-human interactions.” Mr Chlebeck concluded.
The Federal Court ruled that the AAT was within its authority to bring an end to lethal culling in the Great Barrier Reef. Based on two days’ worth of evidence at a hearing in April, the AAT had determined that shark culling has no discernible impact to the risk of shark bite, and that QDAF’s SCP makes a significant contribution to declining populations of tiger sharks on the Great Barrier Reef. The Tribunal found evidence to these points to be “overwhelming.”
“With culling well and truly thrown out of court, we now call on the Queensland government to cease the culling of sharks on all of its coast line and to remove all nets and lethal drumlines”.
Humane Society International and our supporters give deep and sincere thanks to the Environmental Defenders Office and to barristers Edward Muston, Chris McGrath and David Hume for their tremendous work in defending this appeal.
The appeal was dismissed on all grounds.
The AAT had ordered the following, which the Federal Court has now upheld:
Image credit: Nicole McLachlan
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