International Call to Halt Shark Cull in Western Australia

Twenty Shark and Ocean Groups Pressure Premier to End Random Killing of Sharks


CALIFORNIA–(ENEWSPF)–January 30, 2014.  Twenty U.S., Australian and international shark and ocean conservation organizations with tens of thousands of members around the world are calling on Premier Colin Barnett to immediately end the misguided and unscientific “bait and kill” shark project in Western Australia (W.A.) One shark was already killed in the flawed attempt to make popular beaches safe from shark attacks. Download the letter here.

“Premier Colin Barnett seems to have based his shark policy on the movie ‘Jaws’ rather than science,” said Teri Shore, Program Director, Turtle Island Restoration Network (TIRN – www.seaturtles.org) in California, a regular traveler to Perth. “Any fatal shark bite is alarming, but indiscriminately killing sharks is not a viable solution.”

“Culling shark populations simply does not reduce the incidence of fatal shark encounters,” said Tory Johnson, shark conservation coordinator at TIRN. “There are more effective management practices such as alerting beach goers when sharks are near.”

The Surf Life Saving Twitter program is an excellent example of how to inform people of the risks of nearby sharks and letting them make an informed decision on if they want to enter the water. New technologies being developed by Australian universities that may help reduce shark-human interactions include automatic shark detection video software, new acoustic sonar, and underwater white noise machines.

The flawed shark management policy does not affect only Western Australia, as sharks are globally migrating animals that can travel upwards of 20,000 kilometers in the open ocean. Great white sharks are considered ”vulnerable” to extinction under the International Union of Conservation of Nature Red List.

The organizations calling for an end to the shark cull are: American Cetacean Society, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Aquarium of the Bay, The Bay Institute, Ecology Action Centre, Friends of Hector, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the Earth Australia, Greenpeace US, The Global Shark Conservation Initiative, Marine Conservation Institute, Mission Blue/ The Sylvia Earle Alliance, Ocean Conservation Research, Oceanic Preservation Society, Save Our Sharks, Sea Save Foundation, Shark Aid International, Shark Foundation, Shark Rescue, Shark Stewards, Turtle Island Restoration Network, Two Hands Project, The Wilderness Society of Western Australia.

Sign SeaTurtles.org petition to end the shark cull here.

Photo Credit: Great white shark photo courtesy Terry Goss, Wikipedia Commons.

Source: http://www.seaturtles.org