Queensland Fisheries Minister’s Tragic Response to a Tragic Shark Incident
Thursday, Oct 31, 2019
This week, news emerged of a tragic shark bite incident in the Whitsundays. This time two people were bitten, with reports of one losing his foot.
Representing Sea Shepherd Australia, Jonathan Clark said, “Every shark bite incident is a tragedy for those involved, their families and their friends. Our thoughts are very much with the two men bitten and we wish them the best in recovering.”
Queensland's Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries, the Honourable Mark Furner, is using this incident to push an agenda for shark culling. His response is illogical as well as disrespecting and misrepresenting the science commissioned by his own department, using the incident as an excuse to pressure the Federal Government by reinstating drumlines north of Cairns. Cairns is more than 500km away from the Whitsundays incident making this an ultimately ineffective move.
“Sea Shepherd is focused on a set of solutions that can be implemented in Queensland immediately and are very much in line with the Cardno report commissioned by the Department of Fisheries (i). These solutions would provide actual beach safety and other advantages that also mean a win for tourism.Jonathan Clark
Queensland should be implementing the following as soon as practicably possible:
- drones in the hands of the beach safety experts (eg Queensland Surf Life Saving)
- an education program that encourages people to understand shark behaviours and how they can minimise their own risk
- barrier technology which would work well in the protected beaches of North Queensland
- incentives for personal protection devices (such as those used successfully by a Whitsundays tourism operator)
- being open to other new and emerging technologies.
(i) CARDNO report