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A win for the sharks

  • 2 min read

A win for the sharks

I don’t like to preach about the environment. Yes, I care. I care a lot. But I figure that more often than not you don’t want to hear me banging on about it :)

But today I can’t help myself from getting a tad excited because this is a cause so close to my heart.

Way back – in a past life before I was married – I was the Boarding Officer on Navy patrol boats. And in that role I witnessed a lot of illegal fishing ugliness.

That’s why when I heard that the Humane Society International (who we donate 1% of our sales to as a part of 1% for the Planet) have had a massive victory in court to put an end to shark culling on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, I had to share it.

On 30 June, 2017, Humane Society International challenged the issuance of a 10-year permit by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) to the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (QDAF) to operate a lethal Shark Control Program (SCP) within the boundaries of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. HSI challenged the decision at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) on two points:

  1. Shark culling does not improve swimmer safety, and
  2. Removal of apex predators (sharks) has a detrimental impact on the ecological health of the reef.

On 2 April, 2019 the AAT handed down their decision in favour of Humane Society International, ending the use of lethal shark control in the Great Barrier Reef. The Tribunal found ‘overwhelming’ evidence that shark culling did not reduce the risk of shark bite, but did pose a risk to the health of the Reef. The court orders mandated that existing drumlines may remain in place, but that:

  • drumlines were to be checked daily – to limit the death toll of wildlife,
  • the target list of sharks to be shot and killed when found alive to be abolished,
  • tiger, bull, and great white sharks were to be tagged and relocated offshore when found alive on the lines.

Following this the QDAF appealed the decision but was unsuccessful – another win for the Humane Society International.

Kudos to the HSI team for their passion and persistence. And kudos to you for supporting in your own small way, as your purchase helps us donate more to causes like this.