EPA shuts down Shark Cull Program

11 september 2014

Epa Assessment Agrees Shark Cull is Environmentally Unacceptable

  • Victory for the sharks and future generations
  • Drum lines dumped after EPA recommendation

photo: David Woltshenkophoto: David WoltshenkoDrum lines will not be deployed off WA beaches this summer after the state's Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) advised against extending the Government's controversial catch and kill shark policy.

The regulator's chairman, Paul Vogel, said the available information and evidence did not provide the organisation with a high level of confidence.

Premier Colin Barnett said the recommendation meant drum lines would not be in place off the WA coast this summer.

Sea Shepherd’s WA Shark Campaigner Natalie Banks stated, “This is a tremendous victory for the people that understand the vital and important role sharks play in the health of our oceans. Finally their voices have been heard from all over the globe.”

Managing Director Jeff Hansen stated, “The EPA should be congratulated for listening to the people, listening to the science and giving sharks and future generations the respect they deserve. The worlds children need healthy oceans and healthy oceans need sharks.”

The WA Government should be acknowledged and encouraged to continue with their other alternatives, to pursue shark mitigation life saving techniques that don’t kill marine life. 

The WA shark cull caught a total of 172 sharks over the 3-month trial, with the majority of these being tiger sharks. 50 tiger sharks of breeding size (mostly female) were shot and dumped out to sea. Tiger sharks only re-produce every few years and only a small number of their pups survive to maturity. The majority of the so called “alive-released” sharks were in such a poor state that their chances of survival were slim to none. The WA Government had applied for a three-year extension.

Hawaii tried culling sharks for 18 years and it made no difference to shark related incidents.

Shark Cull Protest Feb 2014 Photo: Sea Shepherd/Omar ToddShark Cull Protest Feb 2014
Photo: Sea Shepherd/Omar Todd
Sea Shepherd would like to congratulate and acknowledge supporters, the general community, the “No WA Shark Cull” movement, all the people that attended the rallies, EDOWA, the shark scientists, the Greens, Labor, select Liberal MPs and the numerous conservation groups that kept the pressure and the focus on ensuring that in the end logic, public opinion, science and sense would prevail for our oceans.

Sea Shepherd is now urging the Hon. Greg Hunt, Federal Environment Minister to listen to the public, to listen to the science and put forth shark mitigation strategies that assist with human safety without killing marine life.

“To know that we can look out to iconic, world renowned and beautiful places like Cottesloe Beach and not see drum lines this summer is a wonderful feeling. What we have off the Western Australian coast is nature on a grand scale and in todays world, this is rare and unique and should be celebrated”, stated Jeff Hansen, Managing Director, Sea Shepherd Australia.

Sea Shepherd would love to have a dialog with the West Australian state government to collaborate on alternatives that actually assist with beach goers safety, without killing our marine life or making our beaches less safe like the drum lines did.

Sea Shepherds Operation APEX Harmony is committed to seeing an end to drum lines and nets around Australia’s coast that merely provide a false sense of security by killing thousands of marine life, including whales and dolphins. Its 2014 and these archaic, indiscriminate killers should be taken out and replaced, where there is a demand, with non-lethal alternatives.

“We had no choice but to take this challenge on for the sharks, especially when drum lines were placed basically right in front of our office. No matter how hard this fight got, no matter how tired we became, we could never give up, because the alternative was to do nothing. To do nothing would mean the continued destruction of our worlds oceans and to quote Captain Paul Watson, the one thing worth fighting for on this planet, is life!” said Jeff Hansen, Managing Director, Sea Shepherd Australia.

Bruce the Rob Followers WA FisheriesSea Shepherd's "Bruce the Rib" Followers WA Fisheries photo: Sea Shepherd

 

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