The quick actions of Sea Shepherd monitors and a nearby SMART drumline contractor averted the otherwise certain death of an endangered loggerhead turtle that became entangled in shark nets off Ballina’s Lighthouse Beach yesterday (Monday, December 18).
Yesterday the the Apex Harmony crew were out documenting off Lighthouse Beach when they spotted the turtle entangled in the net.
Queensland coordinator Jonathan Clark contacted NSW DPI immediately however the SMART drum line contractor who was in the vicinity came over to the net and assisted in freeing the turtle from the entangled mess.
NSW Apex Harmony coordinator Allyson Jennings said ‘Once again, the nets have indiscriminately claimed an endangered Loggerhead turtle and had our crew not been there for this animal, it would have most certainly died by drowning.
‘Is this what we want people around the world to see? That we kill marine life to provide a false sense of security for ocean users? It is peak breeding season for this species and every individual counts,’ she said.
Mr Clark added, ‘Our crews have found seven non target animals in the nets in six runs within a week. These discoveries and the data from the first trial are solid proof that these nets are nothing but a failure in terms of safety for ocean users and are killing marine life unnecessarily.’
‘It is time Ballina Mayor David Wright and the NSW Government woke up and started accepting the findings from the federal senate inquiry report, that these nets are ineffective for ocean safety and are tarnishing our image as a nature-loving country locally and internationally’ said Ms Jennings.