Shark fishers back the Greens in condemning drum lines
Hon. Lynn MacLaren MLC
(Member for South Metropolitan Region)
24. December 2013
The Greens say details in today’s shark capture tender released by the Premier’s office reveal even further cracks in the poorly crafted strategy to make WA beaches safe this summer.
“WA commercial shark fishers have told me that they were not consulted on this plan,” WA Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said.
“They are appalled because it will indiscriminately kill so many small sharks, including those species on whom their livelihood depends.
“In every other place that they have been used, drum lines have killed many more harmless, small-sized sharks and other marine animals than they have great white sharks.
“WA commercial shark fishers are especially concerned that the WA Government’s new policy will see the destruction of key breed stock from their fishery, which is only now recovering, through careful management, from past overfishing.
“In Queensland, where drum lines and shark nets are used, more than half of the captures are of sharks less than two metres in length, in other words harmless sharks, and only one per cent of the catch is of great white sharks. Many of the species killed are listed as vulnerable or endangered.
“In South Africa, the number of tiger and great white sharks caught on drum lines has been outnumbered by five times by the capture of smaller sharks, catfish, humpback whales and leatherback and green turtles on those lines.
“There is nothing in the Premier’s tender specifications released today to address these concerns. The Greens call on the Premier to drop this widely-condemned, unscientific, ‘thought bubble’-based policy immediately.”
Australian Greens Marine Spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said the Federal Government should intervene in the State Government’s cull program.
“Great white sharks are listed as a vulnerable and migratory species under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and as such they are protected under the Act as a matter of national environmental significance,” Senator Siewert said.
“Any action likely to impact on them must be referred to the Commonwealth for assessment and approval. Both the State and Federal Governments should outline what discussions have been held and what if exemptions or approvals have been granted to enable the State to kill sharks.”
Source: The Greens, Australia
Related Press Release :
10. Dec 2013 New measures to combat WA shark risks