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Vast majority support non-lethal shark control

A new poll shows there is widespread support in Queensland for implementing the measures of a court ruling on shark control.

A total of 73% of Queenslanders support replacing lethal drumlines in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park with non-lethal alternatives such as drone surveillance.

"The research found that Queenslanders want their government to stop culling sharks and invest in non-lethal swimmer protection including education, drone surveillance and personal shark deterrents,” said Lawrence Chlebeck, Humane Society International Marine Biologist.

The polling follows a court ruling for sharks caught on drumlines to be tagged and relocated offshore instead of shot and for non-lethal alternatives to be trialled and implemented in the Marine Park 'progressively'.

The majority of Queenslanders (66%) agree that sharks should be tagged and relocated away from swimmers rather than culled.

The Queensland Government has so far refused to implement the court orders and has instead removed all of the drumlines from the Marine Park and is asking the Federal Government pass laws to circumvent the court ruling which is a radical political stunt and completely unnecessary.

The polling confirms there is widespread support for the measures in the court orders.

"So now we have scientists, the courts and the majority of Queenslanders all calling for more effective non-lethal shark control—what more will it take for the Queensland Government to do the right thing,” said Mr Chlebeck.

"Humane Society International calls on the Queensland Government to listen to the majority of Queenslanders and implement the judgement of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Implementing the court orders will lead to a modern, more effective shark control program that will be better for people, tourism and the Great Barrier Reef.”

In addition, 77% of Queenslanders agree that using drumlines and shark nets are harmful to other marine wildlife such as dolphins and turtles.

"Queenslanders recognise the terrible toll this program takes on marine wildlife. Since 2001, 265 mammals and 87 turtles have fallen victim to the nets and drumlines,” said Mr Chlebeck.

"There has been 60 years of progress in technology and our understanding of shark behaviour since the implementation of the shark control program. There are better ways to protect people, sharks and the reef and this week's incidents illustrate how critical it is that the program is urgently updated.”


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