Sharks still under threat

Photo credit: AMCS/HSI/N.McLaughlan

Help North Queensland Conservation Council and the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) to urge Queensland's Fisheries Minister Mark Furner to abandon shark culls within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and to instead move to non-lethal methods. Sign this petition to help reach 10,000 signatures! *Warning: graphic image below*

It's great news that recently the tourism industry publicly called for non-lethal approaches to shark control. The industry wants to see political leadership on the issue to protect the reputation of the $6.4 billion reef tourism industry. (See AMCS's media release here). The tourism industry made it clear that the court order did not ban the use of drum lines, meaning they can be used but on the condition that the Queensland Government ensures the sharks are tagged and released. It is encouraging to have the support of the tourism industry in wanting to protect the reef ecosystem as a whole - including sharks, as reef tourism jobs are so important for regional Queensland.

Photo credit: AMCS/HSI/N.McLaughlan

Back in April 2019, The Administrative Appeals Tribunal, brought forward by the Humane Society International ordered that the Queensland Department of Fisheries could no longer shoot dead 19 species of shark caught in drum lines located offshore from popular beaches from Cairns to Gladstone.  The Queensland Government took an appeal to the Federal Courts arguing for the right to continue using drum lines but lost. 

Fisheries Minister Mark Furner wants to continue culling sharks and is also pressuring the Australian government to change the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act to allow for this.  This legislation is there to protect the Great Barrier Reef and a myriad of species including sharks.  Sharks are a critical keystone species that help to maintain the balance of life in the sea.  They help to keep our coral reefs healthy and their removal could destabilise food-webs which in turn affects fishing and tourism.

We call on the Queensland Government to utilise non-lethal methods, such as aerial patrols, shark spotting programs, public education and smart drum lines.  The Government already has independent scientific advice that outlines a clear plan for non-lethal management of sharks within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.  We need your help to urge the Fisheries Minister Mark Furner to respect the court ruling.

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