Premier Baird heading the wrong way on shark management

December 2016

NSW Greens Marine and Fisheries spokesman, Justin Field, MLC will join a large, informal coalition of community groups and environmental organisations for a rally today in Premier Baird’s own electorate of Manly to say no to shark nets and yes to science-based solutions.

With the passing of the Fisheries Management Amendment (Shark Management Trials) Bill 2016 in the NSW upper house, mesh shark nets have been installed in 5 north coast beaches already.  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, said today, ““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.”

“We understand communities on the north coast of NSW are concerned for their safety.  That’s why the Government’s push for shark nets is the wrong way to go.

“Shark nets won’t guarantee public safety and bites continue to occur on the already netted beaches in NSW. But the new nets will have significant impacts on marine species including turtle, dolphins, rays and non-threatening sharks.

“The Premier has described himself as an ocean lover and he represents an ocean loving community in Manly. Hopefully this show of support will convince the Premier to rethink his plan and take a non-lethal approach to keeping people safe while protecting the marine environment people love.

“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.

"This week the federal Senate announced it would hold an inquiry into shark mitigation. This shows the level of public concern and follows a NSW parliamentary inquiry earlier this year that recommended moving away from shark mesh nets “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,” concluded Mr. Field. The Greens Non-Lethal Response to Shark Management in NSW plan can be found here

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