Calls for mass shark culls by conservative politicians would be an ineffective and irresponsible response to recent attacks in Queensland, according to the Australian Greens.
Queensland Senator Larissa Waters said a calm and sensible approach is needed and welcomed tomorrow’s roundtable on the issue in Airlie Beach.
“Our hearts go out to the families affected by recent shark attacks, but calls for mass shark culls are irresponsible, won’t work, and would not be supported by a majority of Queenslanders,” Senator Waters said.
“Tomorrow’s roundtable needs to look at all of the non-lethal options including shark shield personal deterrent devices, shark spotter programs, eco-shark barriers and increased public education.
“There must also be scientists at the table so facts inform decision making.
“We cannot turn our ocean into a shark killing field because of political hyperbole. Lethal mitigation measures give a false sense of security and do not deter sharks or adequately protect swimmers.
“Drumlines and nets are indiscriminate killers of protected wildlife, and the evidence shows non-lethal measures are more effective.”
Senator Waters said the Queensland Government’s Great Barrier Reef shark control program was more than 50 years old and has killed more than 85,000 marine animals including sharks, turtles and dolphins.
“Queensland’s shark control program is completely out of date and isn’t in line with community expectations for protecting swimmers without harming marine life,” Senator Waters said.
“There are plenty of non-lethal options that should be considered and will do much more for people’s safety, marine life and tourism.”
A recent Senate Inquiry into shark mitigation, established by Greens spokesperson for Healthy Oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, has already outlined better ways to manage risks to both humans and wildlife.