Urge Randwick council to use non-lethal shark mitigation alternatives

Urge Randwick council to use non-lethal shark mitigation alternatives

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Michelle T started this petition to Danny Said (Mayor of Randwick) and

#NETSOUTNOW AT RANDWICK

Please sign this petition to show your support to pursue non-lethal shark mitigation alternatives!

Currently, there are multiple shark nets in place along Randwick coastline. At the April 2021 Randwick Council meeting, it was determined that the council will work with the Department of Primary Industries to trial SMART drumlines and shark listening stations along the Randwick City coastline. It is proposed that this trial last for FIVE years, during which time the shark nets will remain in place.

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Reasons why shark nets are not effective:

  • Shark nets are 150m wide and 6m high and sitting at a depth of 10-12m roughly 500m offshore. Sharks are able to swim over, under and around, therefore providing a false sense of security to swimmers and surfers.
  • Being non-discriminatory, shark nets have entangled and killed many non-targeted species, including whales, dolphins, turtles, rays, sea birds.
  • Trapped animals attract sharks close to shore, who in turn can become entangled. (Nets are only checked every 72 hours)

What is a SMART drumline:

A baited hook suspended on buoy that sends a GPS alert to contractors that an animal has been caught. The contractors will respond to the call - going onsite to tag and release the animal offshore. 

Reasons why SMART drumlines are not effective:

  • The concept of removing one shark at a time on a baited hook is doubted as mitigation strategy, due to the small catch of target sharks and many other sharks remain in the sea.
  • Leaving the bait in the water close to people or surf breaks invites sharks to the area and creates danger unnecessarily.
  • The hooked animal is always stressed and often dying or dead, and can become an attractant for sharks to the area.
  • Perceived harm to sharks is largely associated with contractor skill and the time it takes to reach the shark and remove the hook. Department of Primary Industries states that its contractors respond immediately (or at least within 24 hours). However it has been witnessed that response times are often several days or never in bad weather. 

Proposed non-lethal shark mitigation alternatives:

  • Drone surveillance: Drones are the most popular and widely advocated technology. People perceived it to be the non-invasive future of not just shark management but beach and ocean safety. It is cost-effective, provides effective coverage, versatile as a multipurpose surveillance and rescue tool, and its potential improvements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for shark identification.
  • Community education
  • Shark barrier technology
  • Personal deterrents

Click here for to learn more about shark nets and non-lethal shark mitigation alternatives.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!