The Greens have called for a science based approach to managing the risk of shark bites in NSW.
NSW Greens Marine and Fisheries spokesperson, Justin Field, today launched the Greens Non-Lethal Response to Shark Management in NSW plan - a six-point plan challenging the NSW Government’s plans to install outdated shark nets and more drum-lines across the NSW Coast.
“The Greens are committed to a science based approach to keep people as safe as possible whilst respecting our wild oceans and the creatures that live in it, including sharks” said Mr. Field.
“The Greens plan includes non-lethal shark mitigation programs that support communities to put in place local solutions. It recognises the need to put science at the center of any solutions and enables the community to develop our understanding of sharks and to find new deterrent technologies.
“Shark nets are an outdated technology and we can do better. There have been 21 shark encounters on netted beaches in the last 23 years. Shark nets can’t guarantee public safety and we need to be honest about that instead of painting them as the solution. Rushing through legislation for more old-style shark mesh nets shows the Baird Government is moving away from a science based approach.
“What we do know is that shark nets kill hundreds of marine animals including dolphins and turtles and non-target and endangered sharks - communities don’t want that collateral damage.
“Communities up and down the NSW coastline want to know they are part of the solution and they need resources to take up that role. Efficient shark management must include government doing the heavy lifting on research, infrastructure and surveillance and the community getting supported to run proven programs like Shark Watch”
“Governments can’t fully remove the risk of shark bites but people want a science based approach and support for local solutions not a political fix for the government”, concluded Mr. Field.
The Greens Non-Lethal Response to Shark Management in NSW plan can be found here