JOINT MEDIA RELEASE - TAMARA SMITH AND JUSTIN FIELD
10 January 2018
The NSW Greens are calling for an early end to the North Coast Shark Net Trial following the release today of data that again shows the ineffectiveness of the nets at catching target sharks.
During the first five weeks of the Second NSW North Coast Shark Meshing Trial (period ending 31 December 2017):
* only one target shark caught, a bull shark;
* 54 marine creatures caught, with 24 dying in the nets; and
* 16 rays, a hawksbill turtle and a green turtle all perished in the nets.
Justin Field, Greens MP and Marine Spokesperson, urged the NSW Government to heed the evidence of the first release of data from this trial and haul up the shark nets for good - on the North Coast and beyond.
"This report is yet more evidence that the shark netting program in NSW does little to keep people safe in the water but takes a terrible toll on local marine life," he said.
"The Greens are calling on the NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair to abandon the shark net program on the NSW North Coast and across Sydney's beaches and to redirect those resources into more effective, non-lethal technologies.
"A recent Senate report found people are 100 times more likely to drown at the beach than to be killed by a shark in Australia. The risk is infinitesimally small.
"This shark net trial is politically motivated, killing sharks is not the answer," Mr Field said.
Greens MP for Ballina Tamara Smith said the NSW government needs to listen to the science and the facts on shark nets.
"Shark nets may make ocean goers feel better but the evidence shows they are not effective against target sharks and don't make swimmers or surfers significantly safer," she said.
"The millions currently going into the shark net program should be directed to observation towers for our lifeguards, and improving whole of beach and personal deterrent devices.
"Minister Blair has a prime opportunity to become the Minister who delivered smart, science-based solutions to shark management in NSW, not fear-based superstition," Ms Smith said.
Full copy of The Green non-lethal approach to shark management here: http://bit.ly/NSWGreensSharkPlan
Government data from Second NSW North Coast Shark Meshing Trial: