Australia: end 85 years of shark culling, remove nets and drumlines now

Australia: end 85 years of shark culling, remove nets and drumlines now

AUSTRALIA'S OCEANS URGENTLY NEED YOUR SUPPORT

Since 1937, Australia has culled sharks in an archaic attempt to keep swimmers safe.

It is time to move past this outdated and disproven methodology, and remove shark nets and traditional drumlines from Australian waters. These lethal shark mitigation programs, which run in the states of Queensland and New South Wales, do nothing to improve swimmer safety, and cause horrific harm to our marine ecosystems.

These programs not only kill large sharks, but also thousands of small harmless sharks, whales, dolphins, turtles, manta rays and dugongs... many of which are critically endangered.

Whilst ...

AUSTRALIA'S OCEANS URGENTLY NEED YOUR SUPPORT

Since 1937, Australia has culled sharks in an archaic attempt to keep swimmers safe.

It is time to move past this outdated and disproven methodology, and remove shark nets and traditional drumlines from Australian waters. These lethal shark mitigation programs, which run in the states of Queensland and New South Wales, do nothing to improve swimmer safety, and cause horrific harm to our marine ecosystems.

These programs not only kill large sharks, but also thousands of small harmless sharks, whales, dolphins, turtles, manta rays and dugongs... many of which are critically endangered.

Whilst these programs may have seemed to make sense in the 1930s or 1960s when New South Wales and Queensland developed them, science has come a long way since then, and we now know these programs do not work, and create enormous harm for no improvement in safety.

It is time to listen to science, and abandon or modernise these shark culling programs.

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR CAMPAIGN TO BRING SHARK CULLING IN AUSTRALIAN WATERS TO AN END, IN FAVOUR OF MORE EFFECTIVE, MODERN TECHNOLOGIES!

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image of Australia: end 85 years of shark culling, remove nets and drumlines now

Email the Ministers responsible for shark culling to remove the shark nets and end the slaughter

Email the Fisheries and Environment Ministers in Queensland (QLD) and New South Wales (NSW) to ask them to modernise their archaic approach to shark bite mitigation.

People and wildlife both deserve better than the current indiscriminate culling programs, that don't provide any real protection. These programs are at best a placebo, and at worst are luring large sharks closer to beaches. Australia deserves better. 

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IF YOU FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT BEACH SAFETY, ADD THIS CUSTOMISATION:

This misleading name of 'shark nets' suggests to many of the public that these nets provide some kind of barrier against sharks, this is entirely false. The nets were introduced in 1937 to “rid the ocean of sharks” and were never there as a safety precaution for swimmers. The nets stretch across a tiny part of the beaches they are installed in and are ineffective for public safety. They cull marine life entirely at random and sharks are easily able to swim around them and approach beaches. Shark populations are being decimated and there is no positive impact on safety. 

IF YOU FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT WHALE ENTANGLEMENTS, ADD THIS CUSTOMISATION:

I have watched with distress the frequent whale entanglements over the past few months and years and am compelled to write to you to request that the shark attack mitigation program is ended in its current form. Whilst about 10 years ago whale pingers were installed on shark nets to reduce the risk of cetaceans getting caught in the nets, I am distressed to see it does not work. Having read all your annual reports it is clear that a number of dolphins and whales continue to get caught and die in these nets despite these whale alarms / pingers. A whale can typically only hold its breath for 20 minutes and when they are migrating up and down the coast of Australia to travel to and from their mating grounds they must conserve energy, and having watched the distressing footage of whales caught in nets I am very concerned that even upon release they may not survive. 

IF YOU FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT SHARKS BEING LURED IN, ADD THIS CUSTOMISATION:

With the recent release of the documentary Envoy: Shark Cull, Australia's archaic practices are being exposed on an international stage. I was particularly horrified to learn of the amount of by-catch in the nets that was found to be predated upon by larger sharks. It seems to me that these nets, close to public beaches, containing struggling and dying marine life will do the exact opposite of their supposed intention to protect the public by potentially enticing predatory sharks closer to our shores.

IF YOU FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT TARGETING PROTECTED SPECIES, ADD THIS CUSTOMISATION:

The Great White Shark was declared a protected species in 1999, and their threatened species status was elevated to “Vulnerable”. Being a protected species means that it is now illegal to harm or have a significant impact on White Sharks in Australian waters. I cannot understand or agree with the government’s approach to target them with shark nets (or lethal drumlines), at the same time as stating that it is a protected species and illegal to harm them. Surely then NSW and QLD are in violation of the law? QLD also target and kill harmless and critically endangered species like the Great Hammerhead, which is is totally unconscionable. 

IF YOU FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT SHARK NETS HURTING TOURISM, ADD THIS CUSTOMISATION:

With the recent release of the documentary Envoy: Shark Cull, Australia's archaic practices are being exposed on an international stage. Shark populations are being decimated and there is no positive impact on safety. It is clear both Australian and overseas visitors support non-lethal shark bite mitigation over the lethal culling practices of the current program. As we begin to open up to tourism again I believe it’s essential to show that we are moving away from such outdated and ineffective methods. 

It is embarrassing when Australia is compared with other leading nations in this matter and are falling so far behind. This makes Australia appear outdated on the global scale and no doubt has an impact on Australia’s reputation.

IF YOU FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT SHARKS, ADD THIS CUSTOMISATION:

Shark ancestry traces back over 450 million years, before even the dinosaurs and trees. Sharks are apex predators and keep the entire ecosystem of marine life in check to ensure other predatory fish do not overfish all the smaller fish. Healthy oceans depend on sharks. It is widely known that shark populations have declined by 70%+ in just 50 years with a third of shark species now on the brink of extinction. We need to learn to co-exist for the overall health of our ocean's. It is for these reasons that I write to you regarding the shark attack mitigation strategy in Australia and ask that you remove the shark nets.

IF YOU FEEL STRONGLY ABOUT BY-CATCH, ADD THIS CUSTOMISATION:

It was widely reported recently that a turtle dies on average every 20 days in Australian “shark nets”. This is an appalling statistic and I urge you strongly to discontinue the shark net programme immediately.

I understand that about 10 years ago whale and dolphin pingers were installed on shark nets to reduce the risk of cetaceans getting caught in the nets, however looking at the numbers of dolphins found dead in these nets year after year I am distressed to see that this attempt to mitigate the risk does not work. A dolphin can typically only hold its breath for 10 minutes and so checking the nets and drumlines every 48-72 hours is entirely unhelpful. Unless you were to monitor the nets 24/7 it is inevitable that dolphins will perish in these nets every year. Given their bonds with their pod it is possible that as a dolphin dies in the net, their family watch them and are distressed with being completely helpless.

I understand that ~92% of the animals caught in the nets are non-target species and this remains unchanged despite the government’s attempts to install whale and dolphin pingers and despite the increased number of checks of the nets. I understand that many of the ray species caught in these nets are listed on the IUCN Red List as endangered and I note that published reports include species such as the Shark Ray (Critically Endangered), the Manta Ray (Endangered), the Blue Spotted Eagle Ray (Endangered) and the Spinetail Devil Ray (Endangered) - all of which have been caught and died in nets over the last 10 years.

PLEASE ALSO CUSTOMISE YOUR SUBJECT LINE IF YOU HAVE A MOMENT. PLEASE BE POLITE!