The NSW Greens have called on the state government to rule out the culling of great white sharks in areas such as Ballina where a number of shark attacks have spooked surfers and disrupted business.
NSW Greens Marine and Fisheries spokesperson Justin Field made the call following reports the Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg was considering removing the existing “vulnerable and threatened” protection status for great white sharks following a CSIRO study due later this year.
Mr Field said the indiscriminate killing of white sharks would not make beaches safer and should not be permitted in NSW.
He has called on NSW Minister Niall Blair to rule out the culling of white sharks in NSW following a report in the Daily Telegraph that claimed the NSW Minister has not “ruled out” a shark cull following the study results.
The report quotes Lennox-Ballina Boardriders Club president Don Munro saying ‘The cold, hard reality is that their numbers are increasing — there’s no way anyone can dispute that’, and Ballina councillor Phil Meehan saying ‘Targeted fishing may well be the answer to bring shark numbers back to a safe level’.
Mr Field said Ministers Frydenberg and Blair suggesting a shark cull in the media long before the CSIRO study was complete showed they are only interested in whipping up hysteria and fear about sharks with little interest in the scientific evidence.
‘The facts and science show the risk of a shark bite is extremely rare and healthy shark populations are essential for a healthy ocean,” he said today.
‘I’m calling on NSW Fisheries Minister Niall Blair not to give in to the Daily Telegraph’s scaremongering and rule out a shark cull in this state.
‘Shark management has developed and evolved with a suite of effective non-lethal measures including SMART drumlines, community monitoring programs and significant improvements in personal deterrent devices.
‘Results from the recent trial of SMART drumlines at beaches off the NSW North Coast have found the technology more effective than shark nets in catching and tagging white sharks.
‘Minister Niall Blair should make it clear that NSW supports an evidence-based approach to shark management and rule out the culling of white sharks,’ he said.