The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) is supportive of Fisheries Minister Jon Ford's announcement of measures to protect one of WA's shark species, the sandbar shark, however many concerning questions remain as to the future of all the other shark species.
In recent years there has been a massive increase in the killing of large sharks for their fins and we are currently witnessing concerning declines in shark species. Will Minister Ford's protective measures go far enough to save our sharks?
Adele Pedder, the Northern Marine Campaigner for the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) said "While this appears to be one step forward in efforts to address declining sandbar shark populations, why have other declining shark populations been overlooked by the Minister?
"The practice of killing sharks for their fins in the WA Northern Shark Fishery will continue under these measures, although reduced in severity. We believe that killing sharks for their fins should be stopped altogether and more sustainable non-shark fisheries supported".
"Area closures as proposed by the Minister may produce conservation outcomes. However fishers often simply fish outside these areas resulting in increased effort elsewhere. It is important to address this displaced effort.
Ms Pedder concluded "At this stage many questions remain open ended as to the future of WA's sharks. The Minister has taken an important first step towards protecting our sharks but there is much more he could do. This is not reassuring when we are currently witnessing shark populations declining".
Adele Pedder, Northern Marine Campaigner.
Phone 08 8941 7461 or 0422 108 539