I write to ask that you modernise QLD’s Shark Control Program (SCP) and end the use of lethal nets and drumlines immediately. Shark nets and drumlines are catching and killing hundreds of marine animals every year and provide nothing more than a false sense of security.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal ruled that “the lethal component of the Shark Control Program does not reduce the risk of unprovoked shark interactions. The scientific evidence before us is overwhelming in this regard.”
Shark nets cannot provide public safety. I am aware that a fatality occurred at Greenmount, a netted beach, in 2020. Furthermore, there was a tragic fatality in 2006 at a drumlined beach at Amity Point.
Inaction to heed scientific advice, ongoing whale entanglements, and the destruction of Australia’s iconic marine wildlife for no public benefit, has driven me to write to you asking that a policy be adopted to end lethal shark control, and introduce non-lethal technologies.
It is encouraging to see the initiation of drone surveillance measures on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts, and efforts to catch and tag sharks on the Capricorn Coast. Modern technologies such as drones, and ability to track sharks in real time offer much more effective protection for ocean users without the harm to wildlife.
I strongly support the recent implementation of new non-lethal strategies and want to see more progress in this regard. I support solutions such as drone technology, personal shark deterrents, alert systems, and education as a suite of tools to reduce the risk. I consider well-managed Catch-Alert drumlines preferable to lethal drumlines.
Human life is paramount and non-lethal solutions demonstrate a commitment to improving safety of both ocean users and wildlife alike. A comprehensive, technology-driven, non-lethal Shark Control Program would signify Queensland as a world leader in shark bite risk mitigation and coexistence with the natural world – major tourism draws in a post-COVID recovery.
It has been said that, “Changes will not be made until effective alternatives suitable to Queensland conditions are identified and supported by the science.” I wish to inform you that suitable alternatives have already been identified in the Queensland Government’s very own commissioned 2019 report by Cardno titled, “Queensland Shark Control Program Review of Alternative Approaches.”
The Cardno report identified several non-lethal solutions for Queensland beaches, including but not limited to drones, tagging and tracking sharks, deterrent devices and Catch-Alert drumlines.
Your Government has the solutions to improve beach safety for humans and wildlife alike. There is no place for a culling program.