Remove Shark Nets and Drumlines
Sharks and shark control programs have been in the headlines lately, thanks to the latest program introduced in early 2013 by the West Australian Government. In Australia, shark control programs are in place in the states of Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.
However the killing of sharks to protect humans is not a new issue, and it is one that HSI has long campaigned against, and will continue to do so.
Why is HSI opposed to shark control programs?
HSI believes that shark nets and drumlines are an outdated and ineffective method of protection for swimmers. We are opposed to these programs not only due to the significant impacts they have on the broader marine environment, but also due to the fact that they do not decrease the risk of shark bites or fatalities to people. HSI supports the removal of nets and drumlines, replaced with practical measures to avoid interactions with sharks, such as avoiding swimming at dusk and dawn, as promoted by both the State and Federal Government Ministers.
What are the target species for shark control programs?
The target species for shark control programs are the great white shark, tiger shark and bull sharks. However due to the great white shark being a protected species, it must by law be released if found alive in shark nets or on drumlines.
What impacts do the nets and drumlines have on marine life?
Shark control nets are stripping our oceans of its marine wildlife. Turtles, dugongs, dolphins, whales and non-target sharks are all caught in nets and on drumlines. Many of these are protected species under federal and state legislation.
Shark nets are indiscriminate killers – in late 2013 in NSW a humpback whale calf and a dolphin were both caught and drowned in the shark nets. In 2010 reports indicated more than 4000 animals had been killed in NSW. In November 2009 in NSW alone two threatened species, a great white shark and a dugong were trapped and killed in the nets. In Queensland 16 dolphins, 6 whales, 1 dugong and 30 turtles were caught in shark nets in 2009.
In NSW between 1950 and 2008, 577 great white sharks and 352 tiger sharks were caught in shark control nets. Over the same period 15,135 other marine animals were caught and killed in nets, including turtles, whales, dolphins, rays, dugongs, and harmless species of sharks. This figure includes 377 of the now critically endangered and harmless grey nurse shark, a number which threatens their future survival.
In QLD, during the first 15 years of the shark control program 14,328 marine animals other than sharks were caught in the nets and drumlines. Between 1975 and 2001, 11,899 great white sharks, tiger sharks and bull sharks were killed in nets and drumlines. Over the same period 53,098 other marine animals were killed. In 2008, 578 sharks were caught in shark control equipment in Queensland and 505 sharks were caught between January and 20th November 2009. Less than half of those sharks caught were considered the dangerous or target species.
In WA, despite the program being designed to target large sharks three metres and above, a large number of smaller sharks including tiger sharks, mako sharks and blacktip sharks have been caught and killed.
What is HSI doing?
HSI continues to actively work to remove shark nets and drumlines through our campaigning and advocacy efforts, ensuring that this issue remains in the media and in the minds of politicians. We frequently meet with federal and state politicians to let them know our concerns about shark control programs. More recently we have highlighted the issue of the WA shark cull as part of the unprecedented WA Senate election.
In 2003, thanks to a nomination by HSI, beach meshing (shark control nets) were listed as a Key Threatening Process (KTP) under the both the NSW Fisheries Management Act and the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act due to the threat posed to the critically endangered grey nurse shark, marine turtles, humpback whales and other wildlife. The NSW Government is now required to develop a Threat Abatement Plan which could phase out the nets and investigate humane and less ecologically damaging alternatives. It is incredible that the NSW Government still operates the program despite the recognition in law that it threatens the survival of protected species.
The Western Australian Senate byelection
On 5th April, 2014 a Western Australian Senate by election was held, providing a fantastic chance for WA voters to voice their support for an end to the shark cull.
Take a look at HSI's video:
What can you do?
Write to your local State and Federal MP (particularly if you live in WA, Qld or NSW) and let them know that you do not support shark control programs.
Action Alert - Your chance to give sharks your vote in the WA Senate election!
April 1st 2014 download pdf
DEADLINE April 5 2014
Action Alert - Please Help Us One More Time To Stop The Wa Shark Cull
February 17th 2014 click here
DEADLINE February 2014
Action Alert - Help Protect The Great White Shark
January 17th 2014 click here
DEADLINE January 2014
SHARK DRUMLINES IN WORLD HERITAGE GREAT BARRIER REEF MAY INCREASE BY A THIRD: THE COMMONWEALTH MUST INTERVENE
21 December 2015 click here
SHARK SMEAR CAMPAIGN ENCOURAGING BAD BEHAVIOUR
15 December 2015 Click here
CONSERVATION GROUPS WELCOME NSW SHARK SUMMIT AND CALL FOR REMOVAL OF SHARK NETS
September 29 2015 click here
SHARK INCIDENT AT SHELLY BEACH SHOWS SHARK NETS ARE NOT THE ANSWER
8 September 2015 click here
HSI CALLS FOR LEGAL PROTECTION FOR TIGER SHARKS AND SEEKS LEGAL ADVICE SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT CONSIDER KILLING GREAT WHITES
13th August 2015 click here
DECISION NOT TO REVIEW WA'S SHARK POLICY NEGLECTS OUR GREAT WHITES
2nd April 2015 click here
HSI CALLS ON 28 NATIONS TO HOLD AUSTRALIA TO ACCOUNT ON SHARK TREATMENT
9th July, 2015 click here
WHY WE NEED TO STOP THE SHARK NETS KILLING RECORD NUMBERS OF CRITICALLY ENDANGERED SPECIES
6th July, 2015 click here
HSI CALLS FOR FIRST ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OF SHARK MESHING AFTER GREY NURSE SHARK DEATHS
3 July 2015 click here
WA REVIVES ATTEMPTS TO KILL SHARKS THIS SEASON
22 December 2014 click here
wa government backs-off renewed shark killing program
24th October 2014 click here
wa shark kill only scratching the surface
23rd July 2014 Read Director Michael Kennedy's latest opinion piece about sharks click here
shark control programs a serious threat to critically endangered grey nurse sharks
29th August 2014 click here
sharks are now at the total mercy of the wa government
8th May 2014 click here
shark cull catch data demonstrates need for federal assessment
7th May 2014 click here
foi application exposes holes in wa shark cull policy
30th April 2014 click here
japanese whalers say no to the shark cull
4th April 2014 click here
How Do Political Parties Score On The Wa Shark Cull?
28th March, 2014 click here
Over 100 Sharks Killed As Hsi Slams Wa Epa Shark Decision
12th March 2014 click here
It's Time To End Politically Fueled Shark Killing
18th February 2014 click here
Protected Mako Sharks Killed, Chopped Up, And Used As Bait In Wa
13th February 2014 click here
Hsi Files Formal International Complaint On Australia's Failure To Protect The Great White Shark - While Commonwealth Seeks A Further Exemption
12th February 2014 click here
Barnett Needs To Listen To The Community And End The Shark Cull
3rd February 2014 click here
Exemption Of Wa Shark Program A Complete Disgrace
21st January 2014 click here
Wa Seeks To Shirk Great White Shark Protections Laws
20th January 2014 click here
Fishers Show Their True Shark Hunting Bias
15th January 2014 click here
Dolphin Dies In Newport Beach Shark Net
10th January 2014 click here
Time For The Commonwealth To Step In On Wa Shark Policy
6th January 2014 click here
Hsi Urges Commonwealth To Step In On Wa Shark Policy
16th December 2013 click here
Hsi Condemns Wa Shark Policy
11 December 2013 click here
We Need To Remove Shark Nets Now Abc Environment Opinion Piece
October 29th 2013 click here
Hsi Urges Removal Of Shark Nets After Another Whale Is Caught In Queensland's Shark Nets
October 29th 2013 click here
Wa Shark Kill Must Be Called Off
October 9th 2013 click here
Time To Remove Shark Nets To Protect Our Marine Wildlife
October 2nd 2013 click here
Shark Attacks And Sheep Ships: A Curious Correlation
Radio Interview - A Question Of Balance
August 28 2012 click here
A Call For Restraint - Great White Sharks Need To Be Protected
International Lifestyle Magazine Issue 41 download PDF (472.5 Kb)
Great White Shark And Live Export Vessels
July 24th 2012 click here
Hsi Identifies A Possible Connection Between Shark Attacks And Live Export Vessels
July 18th, 2012 click here
Wa Shark Attacks Could Be Due To Live Sheep Exports - Sbs Am Program
July 18th, 2012 click here
Shark Cull Wanted To End Shark Attacks - Sky News
July 16th, 2012 Video Link
Debate Rages Over Great White - Sbs World News
July 16th, 2012 Video Link
Wa Shark Cull Must Be Called Off
July 16th, 2012 click here
HSI's Campaign to get shark control nets removed is part of our broader work on shark conservation, for more information click here
To View Our Policy Recommendations To The Australian Government, download our Shark Conservation Policy, click here.