Recent IUCN position on approaches to shark control clashes with NSW and QLD programs

2023-10-12 09:11 PM by Envoy: Shark Cull–  4m read

A recent Position Statement released by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on shark control programs and shark culls sends a clear message: Australia, it's time for change.

The IUCN's Position on non-lethal approaches to shark control is more than just another policy document; it's a critical shift in the debate. This authoritative Statement strongly opposes lethal approaches to shark management and emphasises the considerable environmental impacts and economic costs.

In the Statement, the IUCN Species Survival Commission explains that they:

"...strongly encourage non-lethal approaches as a response and management option" and "emphasize the significance of non-lethal approaches in addressing human-shark interactions, offering essential guidance for governments and managers facing this complex issue."

New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland (QLD) continue to cull sharks with the full support of the Australian government, prioritising public perception over science-based safety and conservation. Although the IUCN doesn't explicitly name programs, its stance directly opposes the methods employed by NSW and QLD.

These states have been using lethal approaches for shark control since 1937 and 1962, allowed through exemptions under the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Apart from targeting sharks, these practices also harm and kill unintended marine wildlife.

Envoy Foundation wholeheartedly embraces the IUCN statement:

"Our organisation stands firmly against harming and killing sharks in the name of beach safety. Shark nets and drumlines used in NSW and QLD bring suffering and death to our precious marine wildlife. Urgency is of the essence, and NSW and QLD must swiftly embrace non-lethal methods to harmonise with global conservation norms." -Andre Borell.

As global calls for humane shark management amplify, Australia must urgently embrace change to protect marine ecosystems and wildlife welfare.

Call to Action

Share this article and the IUCN Position Statement with some or all of the following:

  1. Premier of NSW
  2. Premier of QLD
  3. Prime Minister of Australia
  4. Your local Member of Parliament
  5. Editor of your local paper or news (see below for more info)

...and ask for the change that is needed.

Useful links

IUCN Position Statement On Shark Control Programs and Shark Culls:

Email the Editors of national newspapers:

  • The Canberra Times
  • The Sydney Morning Herald at
  • The Australian at
  • The Courier Mail
  • The Age at
  • The Australian Financial Review at or submit a story.

FEATURED VIDEO: from Envoy: Shark Cull, Dr Leonardo Guida, Shark Scientist, Australian Marine Conservation Society

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