NSW Shark Nets and the Battle for Transparency

2023-08-23 08:12 AM by Envoy: Shark Cull–  2m read

On August 21st, 2023, the New South Wales (NSW) government confirmed that shark nets would return to the NSW coast on September 1st. Minister for Agriculture Tara Moriarty's announcement on August 21st was pre-empted in the media earlier that day by the NSW Premier, Chris Minns. However, Environment Minister Penny Sharpe has yet to make a public announcement or statement on this issue.

The Animal Justice Party, with the support of Envoy Foundation, has organised rallies against shark nets at two locations this Sunday:

  • Peryman Square Cronulla at 11 am, August 27th
  • Terrigal Beach at 1 pm, August 27th

Comments by the Premier on August 21st left community members, conservation organisations, and scientists concerned and bewildered at the Premier's blatant disregard for scientific evidence and apparent reliance on misinformation to justify the return of shark nets.

In his misleading statements, Mr Minns indicated that shark nets are a reliable way to keep people safe from potential shark encounters and that no proven modern alternatives could effectively replace nets. Mr Minns' statements are factually incorrect and contradict the scientific community's understanding of shark behaviour and the known ineffectiveness of shark nets. The truth is that shark nets are not backed by science. They are ineffective at keeping swimmers safe and are killers of marine wildlife.

The Premier's comments reveal not only a disregard for science but also a disregard for the public's concerns. The NSW government's decision to continue the shark net program, a component of the state's shark management program, goes against public opinion and recent consultation with councils, who want shark nets removed in favour of modern alternatives such as drones and SMART drumlines, which are already being used with shark nets.

The rallies on Sunday will enable the community to express their outrage over the shark meshing program and the government's decision to overlook public sentiment opposing shark nets. By participating in these protests, we will send a powerful message to Premier Minns, Minister Moriarty and Minister Sharpe that they need to prioritise the protection of our oceans and marine life instead of sacrificing our wildlife for political convenience.

See you at the rallies on Sunday!
Sydney - Peryman Square Cronulla, 11 am, August 27th
Central Coast - Terrigal Beach, 1 pm, August 27th

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