Shark meshing nets
Shark meshing nets DPI

Shark nets providing false security, not protection: Greens

THE North Coast shark mesh trial has caught just one potential man-eater in its second month of operation, but netted 72 other marine creatures.

The second report from NSW North Coast Shark Mesh Net Trial has shown the five nets across the NSW North Coast are ineffective, catching and killing vastly greater numbers of harmless marine animals than target sharks, said NSW Greens MP Justin Field.

The report released this week found:

  • Only one target white pointer shark out of a total 72 marine creatures were caught in the net.
  • Threatened species such the green turtle and great hammerhead, and endangered animals including a loggerhead turtle were killed in the nets.
  • Just over half of the total number of animals entangled were released back into the ocean.

"The North Coast trial report data has exposed the shark nets trial as little more than a culling program for marine animals like dolphins, turtles and rays," Mr Field said.

"The only reasonable response given the trial results to date is to haul up the nets and put in place non-lethal technologies such as community observer programs, better resourcing lifeguards and personal deterrent devices."

He said the North Coast results came less than a month after figures showed a dramatic four-fold increase in the number of marine creatures caught across the state's broader shark mesh net program and a shocking 300% increase in animals found dead in the nets.

"The shark nets are floating death traps for our marine life," he said.

"Some of our best-loved species such as dolphins, turtles and rays are already under pressure and don't need the added risk of ending up dead or injured."

"NSW can do better than a shark net mesh program that provides a false sense of security for swimmers but has a huge impact on our wildlife and budget.

"The Greens have a non-lethal plan for modern, effective shark management that includes education, community observation programs and an evidence-based approach to new smart technologies including personal protection."

You can find The Greens shark management plan here.

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