Another dolphin dies in Ballina's shark nets

12 April 2017

Media Release

Another dolphin is dead due to the shark net trial off Ballina beaches, with the fourth monthly report from the Department for Primary Industries revealing that a Bottle Nosed dolphin died in the net off Lighthouse Beach between 8 March and 7 April.

“The DPI’s shark nets trial has really turned into a dolphin, ray and turtle net trial, except that they aren’t the target species!” said Greens MP for Ballina Tamara Smith.

“The latest report has shown only one target species shark was caught in the five nets off Ballina beaches and Evans Head.  The nets were also not able to be checked every day, which was the promise from the DPI to the public when concerns were raised at stakeholder meetings about other species being caught in the nets.”

An analysis of the Shark Net Trial from 8 December 2016 to 7 April 2017 shows:

  • 6 target shark species (White, Tiger and Bull Sharks) killed or caught over the four months
  • 28 non-target sharks killed or caught, including 18 endangered hammerhead sharks wiped out.
  • 52 non-target, harmless marine animals killed in the nets.
  • 99 non-target, harmless marine animals caught (not killed) in the nets.

"The NSW Government pushed ahead with its decision to use shark nets on the North Coast despite the lack of evidence they were an effective means of mitigating shark bites and known risks to local marine life - now the data is in and the trial has failed," Ms Smith said.

Tamara Smith again called on the NSW Government to fund Shark Watch instead. 

“Funding a community group dedicated to warning swimmers and surfers of shark activity so that they can get out of the water would be a much more effective and human-centred approach that doesn’t kill other marine animals,” said Ms Smith.

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