Sea Shepherd Australia
Hammerhead shark petition

Help us save the endangered Hammerhead Shark in Australian waters.

The Australian government is proposing to allow the harvest of three species of threatened and endangered Hammerhead sharks in a Wildlife Trade Operation (WTO).

Join The Wilderness Society and Sea Shepherd Australia in asking Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt and the Australian Government to suspend approval of this proposal.

Read more about this issue below the petition.
 
Sea Shepherd Australia 
 The Wilderness Society

Submission Text:

Save our Hammerhead Sharks

A proposal to allow the harvest of 370 tonnes of endangered hammerhead sharks in Australian waters is simply unacceptable.

Hammerhead sharks are essential to the ongoing ecological health of our oceans. The Hammerhead shark provides essential checks and balances on our marine ecosystems as apex predators as a keystone species.

Many species of Hammerhead are already at high risk of extinction as they are already endangered species due to human activities such as overfishing and the brutal shark finning trade.

Any government sanctioned increase in the catch of Hammerhead sharks would directly be contributing to exploitation and further decline of these species.

In order to protect the diverse range of Hammerhead shark species and the ongoing ecological health of our oceans, I urge Environmental Minister Greg Hunt and the Australian Government to:

  1. Suspend approval of this proposal to catch 370 tonnes / year of endangered hammerhead sharks, due to the lack of science on population levels in Australian waters and illegal overfishing of the same species in Indonesia.
     
  2. Commission research - as a matter of urgency - into the populations and lifecycles of Hammerheads in Australian waters, to determine their population status before allowing the ongoing harvest of these endangered keystone species, which are so important for the health of our oceans.
     
  3. Ban the export of endangered sharks and all species of shark fins. A ban on the trade will serve to ensure sharks aren’t fished for the value of their fins, and reduce the incentives for shark fishing across the country.
     
  4. Ensure mandatory reporting to a species level of any hammerhead caught, so we can have a better informed management of what has been taken.

[Signature]

Thank You

Thank you for your concern for the Hammerhead shark.  The petition gathering period is over.

Operation Apex Harmony

To Learn more, visit our
Apex Harmony Site

Overview

The Australian government is proposing to declare an approved Wildlife Trade Operation (WTO) for the harvest of three species of threatened and endangered Hammerhead sharks [1] in Australian waters, under Part 13A of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

A recent government report found that the taking of 370 tonnes of Hammerhead Sharks as commercial by-catch will have a “non-detrimental impact” on the species.  We disagree. Why?

Conclusions were reached by using the “best available scientific” information on Hammerhead sharks in Australia, which the government’s own report found that no recent comprehensive studies have been completed on the populations of hammerhead species, the only records derive from commercial fisher’s log books – who regularly get the species confused.

The populations of all species of Hammerheads in Australia are listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as ‘data deficient’ – which means we have no idea how many are out there, or exactly how much their populations have declined in recent years. Best estimates suggest that the population is declining on average between 16.5-35 % for scalloped hammerheads and for great hammerheads between 24- 42 % over the last five years [2]

The greatest concern about this proposal is the fact that hammerhead sharks take a long time to mature and produce a low number of offspring - making them highly vulnerable to over-exploitation. Not to mention, they are highly migratory and we are likely to share our hammerhead populations with other nearby countries like Indonesia.

Australia is taking on average 8.5% of the global catch for hammerhead sharks from the period 2001 through 2011. [3] Since 2004 the ‘catch’ of hammerheads has been in steady decline in Australia to 200 tonnes of all three Hammerhead species in 2012. [4]

Global catch-efforts are increasing, as is the trade on shark fin – with the minimum value of the global shark fin trade estimated at $400 million to $550 million a year [5] – driving dangerous population collapses in species like the oceanic white tip shark.

The greatest concern about this proposal is the fact that hammerhead sharks take a long time to mature and produce a low number of offspring - making them highly vulnerable to over-exploitation. Not to mention, they are highly migratory and we are likely to share our hammerhead populations with other nearby countries like Indonesia.

Australia is taking on average 8.5% of the global catch for hammerhead sharks from the period 2001 through 2011. [3] Since 2004 the ‘catch’ of hammerheads has been in steady decline in Australia to 200 tonnes of all three Hammerhead species in 2012. [4]

Global catch-efforts are increasing, as is the trade on shark fin – with the minimum value of the global shark fin trade estimated at $400 million to $550 million a year [5] – driving dangerous population collapses in species like the oceanic white tip shark.

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