Support Our Sharks

The Western Australian shark cull policy has been submitted to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) for review – now is our chance to let the EPA know that this policy is ‘environmentally unacceptable’ and needs to be removed.

You can Stop The Cull right now, by spending just 2 minutes of your time to complete the following steps:

1. Go to www.supportoursharks.com/EPAStopTheCull

2. Select to fill out the ‘Online Survey’.

3. Fill in your personal details.

4. Tell them that this policy is ‘environmentally unacceptable’.

5. Add your personal comments and give reasons why you think this policy is environmentally unacceptable (suggested comments are listed below).

6. Now SHARE, SHARE, SHARE – we only have until Thursday 20th Feb to get as many people to comment as possible.

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SUGGESTED COMMENTS TO ADD TO YOUR SUBMISSION:

1. THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE that killing sharks will reduce shark bite incidents. When shark culling was carried out in Hawaii, between 1959 to 1976, over 4,500 sharks were killed and yet there was no significant decrease in the number of shark bites recorded.

2. THERE ARE NON-LETHAL ALTERNATIVES that are proven effective at reducing shark bite incidents. A new approach to shark control recently trialled in Recife, Brazil, involves capturing, transporting and releasing large sharks offshore, whilst providing an opportunity to tag and monitor the individuals caught. This approach has been extremely effective in reducing the incidence of shark bites in protected areas but without the indiscriminate killing of sharks and other marine life.

3. THE CURRENT POLICY GOES SIGNIFICANTLY BEYOND ANY OTHER employed in other areas of the world. For example, whilst drum lines and gill nets are used on the east coast of Australia, there is no additional targeted fishing of large sharks in these areas. In addition, a WA Government funded report, by Darryl McPhee of Bond University, into shark control measures found that “due to the environmental impacts of shark control activities, it is not recommended that either shark nets or drum-lines be introduced into Western Australia”.

4. SHARK MITIGATION PROGRAMS SHOULD BE COORDINATED BY GOVERNMENT FISHERIES DEPARTMENTS rather than independent contractors, ensuring a higher level of transparency and accountability as well as a greater opportunity for gathering scientific data on shark abundance and species composition.

5. WHITE SHARKS ARE PROTECTED under WA and Australian environmental laws and several international agreements including CITES and CMS.

6. WHITE SHARKS ARE APEX PREDATORS, their role is vital to keep the health of the ocean in balance. Removing a migratory apex predator from our marine ecosystem is likely to have significant impacts on the species composition and abundance of other marine life.

7. DRUM LINES ARE INDISCRIMINATE and will catch and kill other species including dolphins, turtles and non-target sharks. Almost all of the sharks caught so far have been non-target, undersized, tiger sharks. Yet, the WA Government claimed that the drum lines would only catch large sharks (>3m). Non-target sharks are being released at the place of capture and will likely be caught again if they do not die from their injuries.

8. THE STATE GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE REFERRED THE PROPOSED SHARK CULL TO THE EPA for assessment before commencing the cull. This would have allowed for a thorough examination of the environmental impacts.

Go to www.supportoursharks.com/EPAStopTheCull

 

Source: Support Our Sharks on Facebook