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Australia's Shark Nets Are Killing Marine Life

ban shark nets

Recent data, spanning from September 2019 to April 2020, reveals a grim picture: over 480 marine animals were entrapped in more than 50 shark nets, leading to the tragic death of 300 dolphins, turtles, sharks, and rays. These innocent creatures met with horrific ends they did not deserve. The problem shows no signs of abating unless we continue our efforts to combat it.

Australia's shark nets are employed with the aim of protecting beachgoers from potential shark threats. However, these questionable devices have largely resulted in the extensive killing of marine life. 

These lethal devices often entrap and kill thousands of protected species, including dolphins, turtles, rays, and whales. In 2018, at Australia's Gold Coast, rescuers discovered a young Humpback whale entangled in a shark net, desperately thrashing and rolling to free itself. Eventually, this struggle led to the tightening of the net around its tail and pectoral fins.

This whale was the fourth one that year trapped in a shark net. If not for the intervention of rescuers, it likely would have exhausted itself and drowned. While this story ended on a positive note, not all animals are fortunate enough to be rescued. In 2017 alone, shark nets in New South Wales (NSW) entrapped over 300 non-target animals, resulting in the death of half of them.

Alarmingly, despite their use, shark nets have been found largely ineffective in preventing shark attacks. In NSW, for instance, 65% of shark bites have been reported to occur at beaches equipped with these nets.

Australia's marine life is already under threat, with pressing issues like the degradation of the Great Coral Reef to the warming waters that jeopardize the survival of key species such as green sea turtles. The use of shark nets adds to these challenges and further imperils our valued marine life.

What's particularly disheartening is that we have alternatives. There are viable methods to protect swimmers that also safeguard marine life, like drone technology and the use of special buoys that emit shark-deterring sounds.

The Australian government has the capacity to formulate a plan that ensures the safety of both marine life and humans. Please add your voice to this cause and urge them to find safer and more effective ways of protecting beachgoers. It's time to call for the removal of shark nets.

Please sign the petition



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