Article posted by Support Our Sharks (09 April 2014)
The Western Australian shark cull policy has been referred to
Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act
(EPBC) and the
Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) as the
WA Government is requesting approval for the program to proceed
for another 3 years until 2017.
Despite receiving over 20,000 submissions in March, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) chose NOT to assess the policy because they deemed it to be of ‘very limited duration’ and so ‘will not have a significant impact on the environment’. This was when the policy was due to end on April 30th 2014, which has now changed with the Government asking for approval until 2017.
We need to send a clear message to the EPBC and the EPA that this policy is environmentally unacceptable and they should both conduct full assessments of the environmental impact.
1. Email your comments opposing the WA drum lines to - firstname.lastname@example.org (BEFORE Weds 23rd April).
2. In the
subject bar include the following “Comment on WA drum line
referral – reference no. 2014/7174”
3. In the email include the full title and reference no., which are as follows:
WA Department of the Premier and Cabinet/Natural resources
management/off metropolitan & SW coastal regions of Western
Australia/WA/Shark Hazard Mitigation Drum Line Program
Reference no. 2014/7174
4. Include specific comments on why
4. Include specific comments on whyyou think this policy is environmentally unacceptable (suggested comments are listed below).
How to submit a comment to the EPA
How to submit a comment to the EPA (return to top)
4. Tell them that this policy is ‘environmentally unacceptable (API Category B)’.5. Add your personal comments and give reasons why you think this policy is environmentally unacceptable (suggested comments are listed below).
SUGGESTED COMMENTS/LINKS TO INFO. TO ADD TO YOUR SUBMISSION:
1. WHITE SHARKS ARE PROTECTED under WA and Australian environmental laws and several international agreements including CITES and CMS.
2. WHITE SHARKS ARE APEX PREDATORS, their roles are vital to keep the health of the ocean in balance. Removing a migratory apex predator from our marine ecosystem is likely to have significant impacts on the species composition and abundance of other marine life.
3. WHITE SHARKS ARE NOT PRESENT IN WA WHEN DRUM LINES ARE OPERATIONAL. White sharks are the main target of the policy yet their population’s peak during June-August each year in WA, which is outside the proposed drum line operational period of November to April (see page 13 of DoF report - http://goo.gl/FbLBXm).
4. THE WA DRUM LINE TRIAL HAS BEEN A FAILURE.
The drum lines have not improved public safety and the vast
majority of sharks caught have been non-target by-catch with
high mortality rate.
4. THE WA DRUM LINE TRIAL HAS BEEN A FAILURE. The drum lines have not improved public safety and the vast majority of sharks caught have been non-target by-catch with high mortality rate.
5. WESTERN AUSTRALIAN WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AND FISHERIES MANAGEMENT LEGISLATION DOES NOT PROVIDE EFFECTIVE PROTECTION FOR SHARKS, or adequate regulatory oversight for the proposed cull.
6. THE DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES HAS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST in regulating this cull, either directly or via contractors, as it contradicts their mission statement: 'To conserve, sustainably develop and share the use of the State's aquatic resources and their ecosystems for the benefit of present and future generations'.
7. DRUM LINES ARE INDISCRIMINANT and will catch and kill other species including dolphins, turtles and non-target sharks. Almost all of the sharks caught so far have been non-target, undersized, tiger sharks. Yet, the WA Government claimed that the drum lines would only catch large sharks (>3m). Non-target sharks are being released at the place of capture and will likely be caught again if they do not die from their injuries.
8. THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE that killing sharks will reduce shark bite incidents. When shark culling was carried out in Hawaii, between 1959 to 1976, over 4,500 sharks were killed and yet there was no significant decrease in the number of shark bites recorded - http://goo.gl/DCIEVw
9. THERE ARE NON-LETHAL
ALTERNATIVES that are proven to be effective at
reducing shark bite incidents. A new approach to shark control
recently trialled in Recife, Brazil, involves capturing,
transporting and releasing large sharks offshore, whilst
providing an opportunity to tag and monitor the individuals
caught. This approach has been extremely effective in reducing
the incidence of shark bites in protected areas but without the
indiscriminate killing of sharks and other marine life -
10. THE CURRENT POLICY GOES SIGNIFICANTLY BEYOND ANY OTHER employed in other areas of the world. For example, whilst drum lines and gill nets are used on the east coast of Australia, there is no additional targeted fishing of large sharks in these areas. In addition, a WA Government funded report, by Darryl McPhee of Bond University, into shark control measures found that “due to the environmental impacts of shark control activities, it is not recommended that either shark nets or drum-lines be introduced into Western Australia”.
11. SHARK EXPERTS OPPOSE THE WA DRUM LINE POLICY - http://goo.gl/evaEbi
12. OPEN LETTER FROM SCIENTISTS TO WA GOVERNMENT - http://goo.gl/U5xo9r
13. QUEENSLAND’S DRUM LINES - http://goo.gl/a02TXR
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