Conservation groups welcome NSW Shark Summit and call for removal of shark nets
Humane Society International (HSI), Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), NoSharkCull NSW, SEA LIFE Trust, Sea Shepherd Australia, Australian Professional Ocean Lifeguard Association (APOLA) and Australian Aerial Patrol (AAP) have welcomed the opportunity to participate in the NSW Government's Shark Summit today. The summit will investigate technologies for bather protection.
"We congratulate the NSW Government for researching non-lethal alternatives to the current shark nets,” said Michael Kennedy, Director Humane Society International. "We see the independent review and the consultation at today's summit as the first step towards moving away from the archaic idea that killing sharks guarantees to protect humans.”
"The community expects the NSW Government to be investing in using new technologies that alert ocean users to the presence of sharks, without killing these vulnerable species,” said Tooni Mahto from the Australian Marine Conservation Society. "This is 2015, not the 1930's, and killing sharks, widely recognised as among the most threatened group of species on the planet, is simply not the answer.”
"Shark nets aren't barriers that stop sharks reaching shallow waters. Nets aim to deplete sharks in the area,” said Sharnie Connell, Chairperson NoSharkCull. "All shark nets do is provide a false sense of security without actually stopping interactions. Sharks have been sighted between the nets and the beach; they can easily swim under or around the nets.”
“The hidden cost of shark nets is the whales, dolphins and turtles that regularly get caught up in the nets. This is simply too high a price to pay for ocean wildlife,” Mr Kennedy said.
"Our groups look forward to continuing discussions with the NSW Government on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of supporters that we represent,” Miss Mahto said. "We expect further consultation around use of non-lethal technologies and existing beach safety components with the aim of replacing lethal shark nets in the future.”