Shark nets kill 24 non-target marine animals in 37 days
THE NSW Greens are calling for an early end to the North Coast Shark Net Trial following the release of DPI data revealing by-catch numbers for the first 37 days.
During the first five weeks of the second NSW North Coast shark meshing trial (period ending December 31, 2017), 53 non-target marine creatures were caught and 24 of them died.
One target animal – a bull shark – was caught and released alive during this time.
By-catch included 16 rays, a hawksbill turtle, a green turtle and eight non-targeted sharks.
During December 2017, nets were deployed for 31 fishing days at five beaches and each checked 18 to 20 times.
Greens MP and marine spokeswoman Justin Field 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,” he added.
“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.”
Greens MP for Ballina, Tamara Smith, said the money could be better spent elsewhere.
“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,” she said.
DEATH NETS: A dead eagle ray found entangled in the shark nets on March 5, 2017, by Sea Shepherd.
Sea Shepherd found an endangered female loggerhead turtle in the shark nets off Ballina.