Queensland shark control debate - fact and fiction


Please see below for the Humane Society International's media release.


     Media Release
19 September 2019    

Queensland shark control debate -fact and fiction 

In the aftermath of losing their appeal in Federal Court to continue culling sharks in the Great Barrier Marine Park, the Queensland Government appears to have lost sight of the original judgement from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

"It is utterly bizarre that the Queensland Government seems hell-bent on killing sharks,” said Lawrence Chlebeck, Humane Society International Marine Campaigner.

"The science is crystal clear—killing sharks does not improve swimmer safety." 

"The ruling from the AAT provides a very considered pathway to amend the Shark Control Program which will improve swimmer safety and protect the precious Great Barrier Reef marine ecosystem in which sharks play such an important role.” 

"It is simply not true that Queensland must abandon shark control altogether—just ineffective lethal shark control.”

Deliberately killing sharks in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park does little more than provide the perception of safety in the face of the very remote risk of an interaction with a shark.

Queensland beaches are renowned the world over and tourists flock here to experience the extraordinary marine life of the Great Barrier Reef. Most would be horrified to know that sharks are actively killed within what should be the sanctuary of a Marine Park.

"The court ruling presents a real opportunity for Queensland to step up and innovate—it is time for the Queensland Government to invest in more effective non-lethal shark control and abandon efforts to continue killing sharks,” said Mr Chlebeck.

Non-lethal shark control methods that Queensland can deploy immediately includes drones, education and personal shark deterrent subsidies—which are currently being used to great effect in Western Australia.

The AAT ruling also allowed for a transition from lethal drumlines to SMART drumlines, which are being used in New South Wales and Western Australia.


Great Barrier Reef Marine Park permit application control program drumlines



State of Queensland (Department of Agriculture and Fisheries) v Humane Society International (Australia) Inc [2019] judgments



Sunshine Coast shark net effects on non-shark species 



Queensland shark control program non lethal technology strategy alternatives



image: Humane Society International shark awareness day