13.7 C
Byron Shire
April 12, 2021

Qld program has killed 84,800 marine animals

Latest News

My own pandemic imaginations

Robert Podhajsky, Ocean Shores Imagination is a powerful mechanism; I must admit I get unsettled with my own pandemic imaginations...

Other News

Vehicle sanitisation stations roll out

Enhanced safety measures for point to point transport such as taxis, hire and rideshare vehicles are being rolled out in Byron Bay, Ballina and Lismore with the opening of three free temporary vehicle sanitisation stations.

Maybe Canberra needs a bit of distraction biff

Mick breathed in but his Cronulla Sharks football jersey struggled to contain his well-insulated six-pack and he held up his hand as he approached Bazza in the front bar of the Top Pub.

Take a ticket

Council’s Draft Complaint Handling Policy is on exhibition! It’s a document that, if drafted carefully, could provide the public with confidence that Council take complaints seriously and accountability will apply when a complaint is found to be true.

Lens on Lennox photo competition is open

Entries are now open for the Lennox Head Lions Club's annual photographic competition, on the theme of 'Lennox Head, Then and Now'.

Lilac house bound by red tape

Mullumbimby resident Nicole Haberecht is facing a $3,000 fine and the prospect of repainting her house after Council made a demand that she change the colour after it was painted a shade of lilac.

Interview with Dan Willis

Dan Willis brings Best of British back to the Byron Comedy Festival. It was a sellout last year, with the audience confirming it as one of the favourite shows of the program. Dan is back – this time with Rory Lowe and John Flynn, and spoke with The Echo…

A ray caught in netting that is meant to deter sharks. (Sea Shepherd)
A ray caught in netting that is meant to deter sharks. (Sea Shepherd)

More than 84,800 marine animals have been caught in Queensland’s shark control program since 1962.

Those figures come from a freedom of information request, initially started by Sea Shepherd Australia and then followed up by the Shark Files Queensland group.

Catch-data dating back to November 1962, reveals that over 84,800 marine animals have been ensnared in the program, including many, vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered species.

While the majority of marine species caught were sharks, more than 50 per cent caught were whaler sharks, with blacktip reef sharks toping the ranks in this category, which also includes 310 dusky sharks and 265 sandbar sharks, both rated as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

This was followed by over 15,000 tiger sharks and then by over 14,000 hammerhead sharks, including 850 scalloped and 280 great hammerheads which are both rated as endangered by the IUCN.

As a result of this data, National Shark Campaign Coordinator for Sea Shepherd Australia, Natalie Banks is calling on the Queensland Fisheries Minister, Bill Byrne to review the species of sharks targeted by the program.

“It is honestly a stomach-turning exercise to read through the list of marine animals captured by this program and in terms of protected sharks, to see 265 critically endangered grey nurse sharks, 121 Makos and 13 whale sharks caught up in the list of targeted species by the Queensland Shark Control Program,” Natalie said.

“There has been 54 species of sharks that have been caught on the drum lines and in shark nets in Queensland, most of which are not a threat at all to ocean users.”

But even without these sharks being considered as by-catch, over 26,700 marine animals, including rays, turtles, fish, dugongs, dolphins and whales, some of which have Federal protections, have been caught by the program.

The species involved in the by-catch include over 5,000 turtles, 1,014 dolphins, nearly 700 dugongs and 120 whales – all of which are federally protected marine species.

In total, over 8,200 marine species that have Australian Government protections, have been caught by the Queensland Shark Control Program, which includes 719 loggerhead turtles, 442 manta rays and 33 critically endangered hawksbill turtles.

“With scientists questioning the effectiveness of drum lines and shark nets, it is extremely heartbreaking to see the impact that the Queensland Shark Control Program has on our precious marine life,” Natalie said.

“This is why Sea Shepherd is calling on the Queensland Government to consider non-lethal options which have proven to work, such as the eco-friendly shark barrier in place at a local beach in Western Australia and Shark Spotters, which has been in place in Cape Town, South Africa, keeping ocean users safe without the horrendous by-catch.”

“It is time for Australia to move on from the 1930’s when shark nets were first installed in the country, and to embrace new technology which protects both ocean users and our precious marine life.”


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

3 COMMENTS

  1. What kind of argument is that? Many of those marine animals would have ended up as a meal for others anyway. It’s better that human lives be saved as well as looking after an entire economy centred on surfing and beach life.

    • Dear Jon. If you have two BC’s left in your head, try rubbing them together. You never know, you may become enlightened. If i have to explain why, then i’m afraid to say you’re already a lost cause.

  2. I once wanted to emigrate to Australia; That thought is still on my mind. My grandson will probably move there for a few years.

    But, as an ex-navy diver, and Divemaster/Instructor here in the States, the Aussie approach to killing sharks has me dumbfounded. It’s like maybe here we should kill all the bears because one attacks a hiker. It is THEIR HABITAT that we visit. If you can’t the heat, get outta the kitchen!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Inspector condemns prisoner health services

In the forward to the Inspector of Custodial Services Report published last month, Fiona Rafter Inspector of Custodial Services says that the provision of health services to inmates in New South Wales custodial facilities is a complex and challenging responsibility.

The importance of talking about ovaries

Brother and sister clothing designers Camilla Freeman-Topper and Marc Freeman are, were 11 and 13 respectively when their mother died of ovarian cancer.

Dead rats in the Byron bubble?

Poppa Veet Mayo, Main Arm Am I the only one who can smell a dead rat in this bubble called the Byron Shire? Hear it happened...

Linen SHIFT project urgently needs new home

With a vision to disrupt the cycle of women’s homelessness, the Linen SHIFT project was born to provide unique individual support and education for at-risk women in a safe residential environment, but today they they have been forced to close.