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Remove Shark Nets and Drumlines      

Marine Conservation

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HSI believes that shark nets and drumlines are an outdated and ineffective method of protection for swimmers.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 Alerts

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

Latest News

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.

 

 





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