(Provided/Humane Society International)

Marine Wildlife Death Toll On The Rise Due To Shark Nets

by | August 3, 2020

The number of marine animals being killed by shark nets is on the rise in New South Wales, Australia.

The nets — which are used to protect humans from sharks — have been responsible for 284 marine animal deaths in the past year, including those of sharks, dolphins, and turtles.

Animal welfare organization Humane Society International (HSI) is calling for an end to the use of shark nets, claiming that the “nets don’t reduce the risk of unprovoked shark interactions.”

“Bring An End To The Nets”

“The only guarantee we have from these nets, are the drownings of iconic wildlife like dolphins and turtles,” said Dr Leonardo Guida, shark scientist at the Australian Marine Conservation Society, in an email to Raise Vegan.

“For over 80 years in NSW, tens of thousands of animals have drowned at netted beaches.”

“Shark nets were removed along the North Coast of NSW because the local communities opposed the unacceptable wildlife death toll. Newcastle, Sydney, and Wollongong need to do the same. We ask the NSW Government to continue their progress and bring an end to the nets.”

“This must be the last meshing season.”

marine wildlife death toll
Marine animals often die after getting caught in the nets (Provided/Humane Society International)

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Marine Wildlife Death Toll

Shark nets are implemented in New South Wales between September 1 and April 30 every year. The nets always lead to the deaths of hundreds of marine animals, including threatened and protected species.

In an email to Raise Vegan, Lawrence Chlebeck, a marine campaigner from HSI/Australia said that there has been “great progress in developing a suite of effective tools to manage the inherently low risk of shark bite such as drone surveillance, personal shark deterrents, and education.”

“A Relic Of The Past”

Shark nets are a relic of the past having been introduced in the 1930s when little was known about shark behaviour and their importance in the ecosystem,” Chlebeck explained.

“The truth is shark nets don’t make swimmers safer and they take a terrible toll on marine life—costing the lives of turtles, dolphins, sharks and rays.”

“It is high time the NSW Government consigns shark nets to the history books where they belong.”

Do you think the government will end the use of shark nets and protect marine wildlife instead? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

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