Dear Minister Kelly (Minister for Fisheries), Minister MacTiernan (Minister for Agriculture and Food) and Western Australian Government,
Petition to update laws to better reflect the view of the wider community and protect shark species.
On March 8th 2018, a video emerged on Facebook of a live shark being dragged behind a car going at high speed.
Minister Kelly has been quoted calling this video "disgusting", while this act is absolutely disgusting and the video shocking, sadly with the current laws it is also legal because these outdated laws do not recognise fish species under the Animal Welfare Act.
There have been several other incidents involving shark abuse, including a young man sitting on and repeatedly punching a shark in the head; the Gamex Exmouth shark left to die in the sun so it could be weighed for a trophy, the shark hung from a basketball hoop to be used as a punching bag and the shark thrown off a bridge.
The sharks involved in these incidents are believed to be Tiger sharks and the beheaded shark a Scalloped Hammerhead.
Tiger Sharks have been listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red list since 2005. Their population is also threatened in Australia in due to over-fishing, trophy hunting and shark mitigation measures, i.e. drum lines with 203 being killed in Queensland alone in 2017, despite not one human – shark incident. Scalloped Hammerheads are listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Like all animals, sharks are sentient species that have the ability to feel pain and suffering. We urge the WA Government to align the laws with current community values; to recognise that sharks require protection and that all acts of cruelty against their species (including all fish) are deemed a serious offence.
Thank you for your time,
Shark Conservation Australia and Fin Free Chapters