AS we collectively watch the fifth reported whale ensnarement caused directly by Queensland’s shark nets, the Queensland public knows that they cannot be justified.
Representing Sea Shepherd Australia, Jonathan Clark said: “There are likely many more unreported whale encounters with Queensland’s 30 shark nets that are placed at beaches from Mackay to Coolangatta.
"These devices are ineffective for their purpose which is to make beaches safer – there is no science that demonstrates this. Our Apex Harmony Campaign crew witnessed a smashed and tangled shark net in Mackay on the 5th and 6th of September this year. This was likely one of many cases of whales breaking shark nets that go unreported by our government.”
Mr Clark added: “We continually hear hollow justifications from our government that ‘human lives come first’ and that ‘the shark control program is required for our tourist industry’. Sea Shepherd is most definitely an advocate for human safety at our beautiful beaches and in the ocean. There are many non-lethal shark bite mitigation methods available right now.”
Mackay Harbour Beach net discovered broken on 5th September – possibly caused by a humpback whale encounter. (Credit: Michael Woodbridge / Sea Shepherd)
Mr Clark also said: “This Queensland Government program is actually counter-productive in regard to our valuable tourism industry. This government is listening to the wrong voices. They are not hearing from the many businesses along our coast that utterly rely on the presence of sharks in the ocean. Our businesses depend on them and ocean environments depend on sharks.”
“Sea Shepherd Australia calls on the Queensland Government to immediately acknowledge their own election platform on the matter and implement non-lethal technologies guided by science to both increase safety and look after ocean environments,” Mr Clark added.