The Greens have called on the Government to clarify the future of shark nets on the North Coast after the recent budget which made an allocation of $3.6 million to “a shark meshing trial and SMART drumlines deployed on the North Coast”. (Budget Estimates 6-14)
Tamara Smith, Greens Member for Ballina said, “It is concerning to see an allocation in the budget that specifically names shark nets when the trial over the last six months has been a total failure.
“It speaks volumes about this Government’s priorities when there’s been next to no funding to support improving the health of the Richmond River but millions for shark management that has been shown to be a failure.
“I’m calling on the Government to clarify its position. If they intend of rolling out nets again next Summer what’s the point of current community consultations. ”
Justin Field, Greens marine and fisheries spokesperson said, “The Greens have given conditional support to the targeted use of SMART drumlines but other non-lethal technologies deserve Government support and can help reduce risks while providing other benefits to the community.
“The North Coast trial between December 2016 and June 2017 saw 127 marine creatures killed in the nets on the North Coast including endangered Green Turtles and dolphins and non-target sharks.
“The Government has continued to say they’ll take an evidence -based approach to shark management so why is there money in the budget for a failed netting program?
“Everyone wants to ensure people are kept as safe as possible while keeping our marine environment healthy by minimising the toll on sharks and other marine animals. Shark nets don’t contribute to that goal.” he said.
Nth Coast Shark Net Trial results available here: http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fishing/sharks/management/shark-net-trial/report-8-apr-7-may-2017
Full copy of The Greens non-lethal approach to shark management here: http://bit.ly/NSWGreensSharkPlan
Budget Estimates 6-14: https://www.budget.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/budget-2017-06/6.%20Industry%20Cluster.pdf