Letter to Queensland Premier re. shark control

Jan 20, 2020 by afdadmin
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13,000 animals were killed in Queensland’s lethal shark nets and drumlines last year. And more die every day.

Getting these cruel traps out of the ocean should be a matter of urgency. Instead, the Queensland Premier just installed six new drumlines off the Gold Coast. Please take a minute to read our letter to the Premier below – and click here to contact her yourself:

Dear Premier Palaszczuk,

I’m writing from a marine protection charity called Action for Dolphins to express our disappointment at the recent decision to install six additional lethal drumlines on the Gold Coast. 

As I’m sure you are aware, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal reviewed the effectiveness of lethal shark control management in September 2019, and concluded there is an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence to show catching and killing sharks on drumlines does not reduce the risk of unprovoked shark attacks on humans[1]

Instead the Queensland Government’s shark control program causes significant damage to the marine environment. A recent study found species of shark have declined by as much as 92% in the state’s waters[2].

According to the Queensland Government’s official catch statistics, between 2001 to 2017 the mesh nets and lethal drumlines on Gold Coast caught over 1795 marine animals. Bycatch represented a huge proportion of this, with 914 non-target animals, including 45 humpback whales and 6 critically endangered grey nurse sharks entangled in this 17 year period.

As such, the decision to add six extra drumlines off Palm Beach in response to the presence of a single shark is discouraging. Science shows the move will not improve swimmer safety. Instead, it will put increased pressure on Queensland’s already threatened marine life.

This response is a disappointing step backwards, particularly in light of the Queensland government’s recent commitment to invest in alternative shark control technologies.

You should be trialling modern, humane methods of shark protection such as eco-barriers, magnetic kelp fields, drones, tag and release technology, and shark spotting programs, rather than spending money on cruel and archaic drumlines.

Queensland’s vibrant marine life is an asset to the state, and should be treated as such. We ask that you please reconsider your current lethal shark control program, and remove the six additional drumlines. 

Yours sincerely,

Jordan Sosnowski

Advocacy Director, Action for Dolphins.

[1]The Guardian, ‘Queensland government loses battle to cull sharks on Great Barrier Reef’ (September 2019) accessible at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/18/queensland-government-loses-battle-to-cull-sharks-on-great-barrier-reef

[2]Commonwealth of Australia, ‘Shark Mitigation and Deterrent Measures’ (Report, December 2017) accessible at: https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/Sharkmitigation/Report pg 166.