Sea Shepherd
FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinked In
Donate Now
Operation Apex Harmony

Sea Shepherd working together with the community to establish sustainable solutions to shark bite incidents

Around the world sharks are in big trouble, with over 90% of the world’s sharks wiped out through fishing, cruel shark finning and shark mitigation strategies. As a result, between 70 and 100 million sharks dies a year. Places where sharks have been wiped out have been drastically impacted by the loss, with effects ranging from the collapse of fisheries, coral reef growth being stunted, to oxygen depleted dead zones. As important apex predators, sharks have shaped marine life in the oceans for over 450 million years and are essential to the health of our oceans, and ultimately to the survival of humankind.

Sea Shepherd was founded by Captain Paul Watson in 1977 and since 2000, Sea Shepherd has maintained a strong and positive presence in the Galapagos Islands and has been honored to do so. These ‘Enchanted Isles’ are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This means that all humanity has a responsibility to help protect them from illegal exploitation. Over the years Sea Shepherd has, among other things, supplied radio equipment to the park rangers and police and an Automatic Identification System (AIS) to monitor movements of fishing vessels, all in a bid to assist in stamping out the illegal poaching of sharks. Sea Shepherd has also provided education to schoolchildren about the importance of protecting sharks. And, of course, we initiated the K9 unit that is a partnership with the Galapagos police in an attempt to stop the illegal smuggling of wildlife.

In 2012 Sea Shepherd joined forces with the American-based organisation Shark Angels to launch Operation Requiem to protect sharks in the South Pacific.

Meanwhile, in Australia, three states have programs in place that kill sharks and other marine life species as a method to mitigate shark incidents/interactions. In 2014 Western Australia installed drum lines, joining Queensland, which uses both drum lines and shark nets, as well as News South Wales which just uses shark nets.

Despite the overall desire for the respective State Government’s to boast about these shark mitigation strategies, the reality is that there have been fourteen shark bites at New South Wales netted beaches since they were installed in 1937 and over six shark bites and one fatality in Queensland since 1962, where not one, but three bull sharks swum past the baited drum lines at Amity Point, off North Stradbroke Island to tragically bite a girl which resulted in a heartbreaking fatally.

Western Australia has only had drum lines in place for four months. Fortunately there has not been a shark incident since the drum lines were introduced, however during the trial, two sharks swum past the drum lines, causing beaches to close as the sharks drew as close as 50m from the shore line.

Managing Director, Jeff Hansen amazed at the public support at Cottesloe Beach, Western AustraliaManaging Director, Jeff Hansen amazed at the public support at Cottesloe Beach, Western Australia.  Photo: Omar ToddRegardless of the local, national and international outcry from the public regarding drum lines in Western Australia, elected leaders are unwilling to acknowledge that this suggested "solution" does not eliminate or even reduce the potential for future shark bites. Politicians responsible for the shark cull policy have displayed an unwillingness to explore other shark mitigation strategies, despite alternative solutions being available and the fact that these current initiatives are proving to be not only unsuccessful in mitigating shark incidents, but are also catching a wide range of non-target marine life indiscriminately, killing many of them.

The community has become more sophisticated and aware of marine conservation since the 1930s and the 1960s and has an understanding of how technology plays a pivotal role in providing alternative solutions. We are seeing a shift from myth to reality, where shark bites are being recognised as ungovernable events. The question is whether politicians will also swap easy myths for the hard truth and put forward initiatives base on science instead of emotion and hysteria.

Sea Shepherd has a presence in all three states where drum lines and nets are installed and has been monitoring and documenting these initiatives. Where necessary Sea Shepherd will expose the flaws of governing policies, applying pressure on politicians to make alternative choices to reduce shark bites in their state. This pressure recently resulted in the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority to receive over 30,000 submissions and a decision to recommend that the Western Australian Government cease it’s desire to continue drum lining for the next three years.

Part of the solution is to liaise with the local population where drum lines and nets are installed, to provide them with an overview of the alternative mitigation options and for them to make informed decisions about what they want in their community.

States

map-Australia-states-all-240x224
Western Australia
Queensland
New South Wales

Read More


Donate Now
Donate Now
FacebookTwitterYouTubeLinked In
SEA SHEPHERD AUSTRALIA HOME    |     DONATE    |     SHOP   |     CONTACT

Operation Apex Harmony - Timor Leste Campaign Introduction
Operation Apex Harmony - Timor Leste Campaign Introduction
Operation Apex Harmony - Timor Leste is a Sea Shepherd campaign to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the waters of East Timor. The M/V Ocean Warrior and its crew are collaborating with East Timor National Police to stop a fleet of 15 industrial fishing vessels suspected of il...
Operation Apex Harmony - Timor Leste Campaign
Operation Apex Harmony - Timor Leste Campaign
Volunteer crew on Sea Shepherd's Ocean Warrior patrol vessel are working in partnership with the East Timor National Police (PNTL - Policia Nacionale Timor-Leste) to stop a fleet of 15 industrial fishing ships suspected of targeting sharks in East Timor and possibly the neighboring waters of Indones...
Operation Apex Harmony: Crew Aggressively Approached by DPI Subcontractor
Operation Apex Harmony: Crew Aggressively Approached by DPI Subcontractor
On 1st May, Sea Shepherd's Apex Harmony crew had divers at the Seven Mile Beach shark net at Lennox Head. Well after the dive flag was displayed from the Sea Shepherd small boat Grey Nurse, the boat of the Ballina shark meshing contractor, Wahoo approached aggressively to about 10m from the divers. ...
Operation Apex Harmony: Sea Shepherd Discovers Huge Shark Fin Shipments
Operation Apex Harmony: Sea Shepherd Discovers Huge Shark Fin Shipments
During a 3 month investigation into the shark fin trade in Hong Kong, Sea Shepherd verified evidence that shark fin traders are still shipping shark fins into Hong Kong on airlines and shipping lines that have bans in place. The shark fin traders circumvent the shippers alert measures by declaring t...
Operation Apex Harmony: Miss Earth Australia Qld Finalist inspects QLD drum line program
Operation Apex Harmony: Miss Earth Australia Qld Finalist inspects QLD drum line program
Charlotte Rose joined our crew for one of our regular inspections of the Qld Government's Shark Control Program equipment on the Gold Coast. Whilst no entangled wildlife was encountered, it is always shocking to see this lethal equipment deployed in our waters.
Operation Apex Harmony: Two rare Japanese Devilrays found in shark net - Queensland
Operation Apex Harmony: Two rare Japanese Devilrays found in shark net - Queensland
Sea Shepherd's Apex Harmony crew found two rare Japanese Devilrays in one shark net 100m apart from one another at Miami Beach on the Gold Coast - one had two large bites from a shark, proving that catches attract sharks to the area. For further information please go to: http://www.seashepherd.org...
Operation Apex Harmony: Juvenile tiger shark caught on drum line at Point Cartright Queensland
Operation Apex Harmony: Juvenile tiger shark caught on drum line at Point Cartright Queensland
1m juvenile tiger shark caught on the drum lines at Point Cartright, Sunshine Coast Queensland on the 19 December 2015.
Operation Apex Harmony: Tiger Shark caught on Drum line, Gracetown WA
Operation Apex Harmony: Tiger Shark caught on Drum line, Gracetown WA
Gracetown, drum-line number 5 , Western Australia, 10:00am AWST - another tiger sharks was caught this morning with a hook through the left hand side of its mouth and penetrating through the top of its head. Fisherman hacks away at the sharks mouth and head, completely butchering any chance of this ...
Operation Apex Harmony: Global shark crisis! - POWERFUL VIDEO
Operation Apex Harmony: Global shark crisis! - POWERFUL VIDEO
With global shark populations being driven towards extinction, this is not just a China issue, but a global issue and we are all responsible.
Operation Apex Harmony: Tiger Shark Nursed Back to Life!
Operation Apex Harmony: Tiger Shark Nursed Back to Life!
Today Shark observers on board the Sea Shepherd Response vessel "Bruce" witnessed the release of a 2.4 metre female juvenile tiger shark by WA Fisheries. Suffering with a hook in through it's head, the WA Fisheries department removed the hook and tagged it as a live release shark. The Shark was in p...
Operation Apex Harmony: WA Shark Cull Claims Another Two Victims
Operation Apex Harmony: WA Shark Cull Claims Another Two Victims
Monday 14th April, 2014 This morning off the Perth Metro meat curtains (aka Barnett's drum lines), Sea Shepherd's Bruce the RIB, witnessed the following: 08:00 am AWST - Drum line approximately 1km off Scarborough Beach - 2.7 metre Tiger shark caught, injured and released Bruce the RIB noticed tha...
Operation Apex Harmony: WA Fisheries Dept ignores offer of assistance to save shark
Operation Apex Harmony: WA Fisheries Dept ignores offer of assistance to save shark
April 15, 2014, 11.30am The WA Department of Fisheries ignore an offer by Sea Shepherd and Independent Observers to assist an immobilised baby tiger that was released alive after being caught on one of the Cottesloe drum lines. Upon being released, Sea Shepherd and Independent Observers notice the...
Operation Apex Harmony: Introducing Operation Apex Harmony
Operation Apex Harmony: Introducing Operation Apex Harmony
In response to the West Australian Government's war on our precious marine life, with the WA shark cull, Sea Shepherd is launching Operation Apex Harmony. Sea Shepherd is committed to defending sharks globally; for an ocean without sharks is a planet without people. These apex predators maintain th...
Operation Apex Harmony: Sea Shepherd's Operation Apex Harmony The Shark Cull Trailer
Operation Apex Harmony: Sea Shepherd's Operation Apex Harmony The Shark Cull Trailer
In response to the West Australian Government's war on our precious marine life, with the WA shark cull, Sea Shepherd is launching Operation Apex Harmony. The full documentary is coming soon which will showcase how the WA government has ignored the science and the wishes of the majority of the Aust...