NSW shark net legislation a step backwards
9th November 2016
The introduction of new legislation to the NSW Parliament today to fast track a trial of shark mesh nets on five beaches on the NSW North Coast has been declared a backwards step by Humane Society International (HSI).
“HSI understands the views and concerns of some in the community but putting in shark nets provides no greater safety when in the ocean. What is needed instead is a continued focus on non-lethal alternate technologies and a greater understanding of our ocean environment so we can better appreciate the risks when entering the ocean, not more nets which is a backwards step for NSW’s marine environment,” said HSI’s Senior Program Manager, Alexia Wellbelove.
HSI has long urged both the NSW and Queensland Governments (and more recently the WA Government) to replace its lethal shark control methods with non-lethal alternatives appropriate for the conditions in each location.
“Nets kill our marine life plain and simple. Whilst they are designed to target only a limited number of shark species they also trap and kill whales, dolphins, dugongs, turtles and many other harmless animals. HSI considers the nets to be an outdated and ineffective method of protection from the very low, albeit tragic, risk of a shark bite. We therefore urge Parliamentarians to reject the Bill which is today being introduced to the NSW Parliament,” concluded Ms Wellbelove.
New South Wales’ law has recognised shark netting as a ‘key threatening process’ since 2003, following a scientific submission to Government by HSI.