Shark letter dubbed 'madness'
Conservationists want the Queensland Government to replace shark nets and drumlines with non-lethal alternatives.
A report has been sent to Queensland Fisheries Minister Mark Furner outlining a $33 million plan that would use non-lethal shark mitigation methods that “modernise and improve beach safety”.
“The current methods are 60 years old, and there's nowhere else in our daily lives that we would accept safety standards that are 60 years old,” says Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) biologist Dr Leo Guida,
“The wildlife cost is too high and quite literally for no safety benefit whatsoever.”
Alternative shark mitigation measures include using drones to monitor beaches and setting up eco-shark barriers.
These plastic barriers have gaps 25 to 30 centimetres wide to deter marine life from entering an area, but without entangling in nets.
There are also SMART (Shark Management Alert in Real Time) drumlines, which alert the Department of Fisheries when a shark has been caught so it can be tagged and relocated.
The report is co-signed by AMCS, Humane Society International, Sea Shepherd, No Shark Cull QLD, Ocean Impact, and the documentary Envoy: Shark Cull.
It calls for both major parties to provide a timeframe for the removal of shark nets and drumlines.
Queensland Fisheries Minister Mark Furner has described the plan as “pure madness”.
The State Government removed drumlines from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park it was found that killing sharks does not reduce the risk of future attacks.
Mr Furner says the State Government has allocated $1 million per year towards shark control innovation, and is looking at the use of drones on some Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast beaches. He does not appear willing to go further.
“Their proposal to remove shark drumlines and also nets from the waters is just pure madness,” he told the ABC.
“You would leave swimmers, surfers, beachgoers, unsafe by not having that protection.”
The state’s LNP opposition says it would spend $15 million replacing drumlines in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park with SMART drumlines.