The Greens are calling on the NSW Government to phase out the destructive shark net program and increase non-lethal shark management strategies on NSW beaches this Summer.
More than 51 shark nets due to be installed at beaches from Newcastle to Wollongong from today (1 September).
However, the recently released Annual Performance Report of the Shark Meshing Program and the government’s trial of SMART drumlines and other non-lethal strategies on North Coast beaches have shown that shark nets are the worst of all options for marine life and the health of the ocean.
The annual report of the netting program in 2016/17 found:
373 animals were caught in sharks nets with 211 (57%) killed.
most of the animals killed in nets were non-dangerous animals including dolphins, turtles and rays.
74 target sharks were killed in the year.
Greens MLC and Marine Spokesperson Justin Field said shark nets are an outdated technology that is failing people and taking a toll on marine life and should be removed for good.
“Shark nets may make ocean goers feel better but the evidence shows they are not effective against target sharks and don’t make swimmers or surfers significantly safer.
“The Government’s trial of SMART drumlines and other non-lethal strategies on the North Coast caught more sharks than the net trial over the same period. There were almost no non-target marine creatures caught on drumlines and almost all sharks were tagged and released alive.
“The trial makes a compelling case for the Government to remove shark nets permanently from NSW’s beaches.Minister Niall Blair can now have the confidence to move beyond the ‘panic’ and begin phasing out shark nets across NSW.
“He should halt the process of rolling out nets due to go into the water off Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong on 1 September and replace them with effective, non-lethal technologies including SMART drumlines and community monitoring programs.|
The Greens are calling on the Government to phase outr destructive shark nets and replace them with modern technologies that reduce the risk of shark bites but don’t kill our much loved marine animals,” he said.
Shark meshing (Bather Protection) program 2016/17 Annual Performance Report:
Full copy of The Green non-lethal approach to shark management here: http://bit.ly/NSWGreensSharkPlan