Shark nets are currently located at 51 beaches across NSW. The nets are deployed for half the year (from 1st September to the 30th April), the first three months of which coincide with the whale migration season. This overlap causes a high number of easily avoidable whale entanglements. For example, between 2012 and 2019, there were 33 whale interactions with shark nets.
A recent report in the People and Nature Journal, which examined the NSW government’s shark net program has found it has little measurable benefit in terms of improving human safety. Shark nets in NSW entangle 16 times more non-target species than the three dangerous sharks they are aimed at. The lead author of the report, Leah Gibbs, has said that “there's really no solid evidence the shark nets are effective."
Of 395 marine animals caught in nets in 2018-19, 372 - or about 94 per cent - were so-called bycatch. Some of the animals caught were endangered, such as grey nurse sharks. This effectively means that this out-dated technology is killing an enormous amount of marine by-catch, whilst at the same time not adequately protecting beach-goers.
The nets should be replaced with non-lethal technology that better works to protect beach-goers and does not have such a negative impact on marine life.
Sign the petition now to save precious marine life from destructive shark nets.
To the Honourable Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales in Parliament assembled:
This Petition of certain citizens of New South Wales brings to the attention of the House that:
Shark nets do not provide point-to-point protection for swimmers and surfers.
Shark nets kill all types of sharks, including endangered species. Shark nets also kill turtles, dolphins, stingrays and other marine life.
The undersigned petitioners ask the NSW Government to:
- Remove shark nets in NSW.
- Fund non-lethal shark mitigation methods.