Shark net worker shares traumatising experience cutting dead animals out of shark nets
2023-03-02 9:13 by Envoy: Shark Cull
The following is an from Aussie fisherman brought to tears after shock catch in shark net, for Yahoo News, by Michael Dahlstrom, 21 February 2023:
It was another dolphin death that led him to start questioning the netting program two years ago. Most of the animals caught were not target shark species, and gruesome work cutting loose dead animals left the 23-year-old contractor traumatised. Now he’s calling for the NSW government program to be overhauled, citing concerns about its environmental impact, but also its ability to properly protect swimmers.
Still reconciling with his past, he's asked that his name be withheld, so we’ll refer to him as Andy. “[The public] don’t hear much about what actually goes on, ”he told Yahoo News Australia. “I don’t think the government realises how bad things are, they just see (the statistics) written down on paper.”
Andy believes funds used to maintain the nets, known as the 'shark meshing program', should be redirected towards modern technologies like drones that could better protect beachgoers.
He’s not critical of the beach-wide swimming enclosures found in wealthy areas like Barangaroo and Double Bay, he’s concerned about the 51 underwater nets between Newcastle and Wollongong that are never seen by beachgoers but provide a sense of security.
Most of the animals caught were not sharks capable of killing humans — during the 2021/2022 meshing season only 51 of the 300 animals caught were target species, and many were listed as threatened. One of Andy’s worst days was when his patrol found five critically endangered grey nurse sharks in the nets.
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