Nets out of Queensland now


The Greens are again calling on the Queensland government for an urgent review of the state’s system of shark nets and drum lines, after a humpback whale was entangled in nets off Kings Beach on the Sunshine Coast this morning.

Lines attributable to Senator Larissa Waters, Greens leader in the Senate

“Nets and drumlines are indiscriminate killers of protected wildlife, and the evidence shows non-lethal measures are more effective at protecting swimmers.

“This morning a humpback whale was entangled in Queensland shark nets, the first of many likely to run afoul of these cruel devices with whale migration season now underway along Australia’s East Coast.

“While the whale has been released, there’s no guarantee it will survive, as the stress of getting tangled can use enormous energy that the whale needs to make its migration journey.

“The Queensland Government’s Great Barrier Reef shark control program is 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“Queensland’s shark control program is completely out of date and isn’t in line with community expectations for protecting swimmers without harming marine life.

“There are plenty of non-lethal options that should be considered, including shark shield personal deterrent devices, shark spotter programs, eco-shark barriers and increased public education, and will do much more for people’s safety, marine life and tourism."

Lines attributable to Greens spokesperson for healthy oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson

“Shark nets are not effective at removing the risk of shark bites to humans.

Solutions exist that modernise beach safety standards and don’t harm wildlife, yet every year these outdated walls of death cause unacceptable pain and suffering to marine animals. 

“The Queensland government says entrapments are ‘very rare’ but analysis by Humane Society International found 11 humpback whales were caught in Queensland nets last year alone, which is hardly a rare occurrence. Meanwhile dugongs, turtles and dolphins were among 722 animals that were either killed or found dead after being drowned in nets or hooked on the lethal drumlines. 

“The Federal government has an important role to play in protecting endangered marine life killed by lethal shark nets and drumlines deployed by the states. 

“The upcoming review of Australia’s EPBC laws is an opportunity for the Labor government to remove existing exemptions to state controlled lethal shark net programs that risk federally protected species.”