May 02, 2018

Shark nets should go for good

Greens Member for Ballina Tamara Smith has welcomed the early end to the second North Coast Shark Net Trial after concerns about the risk of entanglement of whales making an early migration along the NSW coast.


Read: End of shark nets trial welcomed by Greens, animal activists.(Echo Net Daily)

Have your say: The North Coast Shark Net Trial survey ends Fri 18 May at 5pm visit

Media Release

"There is no scientific evidence and little community support for putting shark nets back in the waters off the North Coast,” said Tamara Smith.

"The data from the North Coast Shark Net Trial 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.

"We all want to ensure people are as safe as possible when enjoying the beach and ocean while minimising the toll on marine life. Shark nets don't help achieve that balance. I support shark spotting by trained personnel such as Shark Watch volunteers or Surf Life Savers, using binoculars and drones," said Ms Smith.

Government data shows the shark nets trialled across the NSW North Coast have been ineffective, catching and killing vastly greater numbers harmless marine animals than target sharks.

Between 23 November 2017 and 31 March 2018:

*         Only one target bull shark out of a total 132 marine creatures were caught in the nets.

*         Threatened species including the Green Turtle and nine Great Hammerhead sharks were killed in the nets.

*         Twenty-three rays caught and killed in the nets, including reports that rays were left to die in nets despite community reports of their capture.

The Greens call on the NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair to permanently abandon the shark net program on the NSW North Coast and across Sydney's beaches and redirect those resources into more effective, non-lethal technologies.

Greens Marine spokesperson Justin Field MLC  said, "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 and the resources should be directed to where the real risks are.

"The millions currently going into the shark net program should be directed to observation towers and drone technology for our lifeguards, and improving whole of beach and personal deterrent devices," he said.

Full copy of The Green non-lethal approach to shark management here:

Government data from second NSW North Coast Shark Meshing Trial:

Have your say: The North Coast Shark Net Trial survey ends Fri 18 May at 5pm visit

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