It's all too hard to stomach
WARNING: Graphic content which may be distressing for some people
This isn’t something out of a horror movie but the horrific reality of what happens to pregnant sharks all along the eastern coastline of Australia.
The New South Wales (NSW) bather protection program and the Queensland (QLD) shark control program are responsible for the butchering of sharks and their pups. Hundreds of photographs of these gruesome acts bear witness to so many inhumane practices.
Shark nets kill hundreds of marine animals every year, this includes non-target shark species, vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered species.
In further shocking news, the NSW and QLD bycatch data does not even count or recognise shark pups. It’s as if they never existed.
But they did exist and it’s time to shed light on the continuing massacre.
Threatened sharks are declining in Australia despite being listed under environmental protection laws (ABC Science, Jo Khan 2019). There’s a silent extinction crisis happening.
Sharks caught in nets may be reduced to a single comment in a spreadsheet such as “lemon shark, female, found alive, euthanised, six female pups and three male pups”. One single shark euthanised? Ten sharks butchered.
Australia is home to 322 different species of sharks and rays. Sixty two of these species are listed as endangered, threatened or vulnerable under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Shark Champions 2021).
Shark nets are lethal to our threatened species.
The scalloped hammerhead and the grey nurse sharks are now critically endangered yet both are routinely killed in shark nets.
Our shark populations are shrinking, some to extinction. Let’s put an end to the marine massacre and make the shark nets extinct.
References and further information:
IUCN Red List, The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, https://www.iucnredlist.org/
Shark Champions 2021, https://sharkchampions.org.au/issue/endangered-species/
ABC Science - Threatened sharks and rays continue to decline in Australia despite being listed under environmental protection laws, Jo Khan 2019 https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-12-12/11788812