Over 5,000 endangered scalloped hammerhead sharks are being fished each year in our Great Barrier Reef.1 Just last year around 2,500 endangered hammerhead sharks were dumped overboard by commercial fishers in Queensland's largest fishery which spans the length of the Reef.
Sharks are vital to healthy coral reefs and oceans. Without sharks, food webs can become unstable and collapse. Commercial fishing is risking their future, which is bad news for our oceans.
Right now industrial-sized gillnets up to 1.2km long are fishing in our Reef and catching everything in their path. And it's not just our sharks that are at risk. Australia's iconic turtles, dolphins and dugongs also drown in these dangerous gillnets. Each year around 60 dolphins, 60 dugongs and 2,100 turtles are caught in this fishery in our Great Barrier Reef.2
Only 2 in 10 hammerheads caught are alive when they are thrown back, but even these have a low chance of survival.3Sign the petition and tell the Queensland Government to remove industrial-sized gillnets from our world heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Sign now and help give our hammerhead sharks and Great Barrier Reef a fighting chance.
1. QFish database, Queensland Government www.qfish.fisheries.qld.gov.au
2. AMCS & WWF-Australia Investigation, https://www.marineconservation.org.au/the-pictures-the-authorities-didnt-want-you-to-see/
3. Dapp et al (2015) Respiratory mode and gear type are important determinants of elasmobranch immediate and post‐release mortality. Fish and Fisheries 17(2), pp. 507-524 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/faf.12124
Subject Line: Save the Reef from overfishing and remove industrial-sized gillnets from the GBR.
I am shocked to learn that over 5000 endangered hammerhead sharks are being killed per year throughout the Great Barrier Reef in the east coast net fishery.
The world-heritage listed Great Barrier Reef is under enormous pressure and the operation of industrial-sized gillnets measuring up to 1.2km in the Great Barrier Reef is inconsistent with efforts to protect the Reef.
I am even more alarmed to learn that the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is not the sanctuary I thought it was or should be. More than half (1,967) of the 3,359 endangered scalloped hammerheads caught here are dumped, most likely dead or dying.
This is a grave problem, because the Great Barrier Reef is very much a part of our national identity and sharks are crucial to the Reef's health and resilience.
The problem extends beyond just sharks, even our iconic turtles, dolphins and dugongs are drowning at the expense of damaging gillnets. Each year an estimated average of 60 dolphins, 60 dugongs and 2,100 turtles die as a result of damaging gillnets throughout the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is an Australian icon and globally recognised for its natural wonder. On behalf of the world, it is your responsibility to conserve this wonder and the animals which call it home.
I therefore ask the Palaszczuk Government to immediately remove the large gillnets from the Reef.