What we now know of Baird's shark net plans; shark nets could be put in place for five years!
Legislation to introduce shark nets in Ballina was passed on Tuesday 15th November, which could see shark nets put in place in northern New South Wales for five years.
The bill, which was voted through parliament with only the Greens Party voting against it, has a five-year sunset clause; technically meaning the NSW Government could approve management plans for multiple six-month trials and could do that all over the state.
Natalie Banks, Founder of No Shark Cull is disgusted by the lack of transparency from the Premier and the Department of Primary Industry regarding the five-year sunset clause and stated that she had received strong indications that shark nets could be deployed as early as Friday 18th November.
"The bill revealed that the Baird Government want to trial five shark nets and for these to be in before school holidays. However we have heard that at least one shark net could be deployed in Ballina this week," Natalie said.
"The bill didn't restrict trials to mesh nets either, illustrating the trials could be for any technology to capture sharks."
The bill furthermore didn't set out any parameters for what a successful trial will look like, what inspection regime there will be or how the trial will be assessed.
No Shark Cull is of the firm belief that a scientific evaluation of the trial would be at the very least necessary.
No Shark Cull has for the past few years highlighted the flaws associated with shark nets through its Apex Harmony campaign, illustrating that they only provide a false sense of security and will not prevent shark encounters.
The marine conservation organization has also been promoting non-lethal alternatives such as shark spotting, personal electronic devices and sonar technologies.
"As northern New South Wales embarks on this trial of shark nets, No Shark Cull calls for all community leaders and media to keep the rhetoric down and to be honest about what nets can and can not do, and what the risks are," Natalie said.
"We are putting the New South Wales Government on notice as No Shark Cull, along with the community will not accept marine life being slaughtered for a false promise of security from shark nets."
No Shark Cull would like to acknowledge the Greens Party, which successfully negotiated for some transparency for regular reporting on catch details.
It is clearly obvious that the NSW Government is cherry picking the information being provided to them, which includes ignoring scientific advice provided by Cardno, as well as a bipartisan shark management inquiry which recommended alternatives to the use of shark nets.