Sea Shepherd Australia is calling on Fisheries Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to explain the discrepancy between the number of drum lines permitted to be used within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the numbers actually in place.
According to Fisheries Queensland, there are currently 185 drum lines in place within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, however according to their permit granted by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park authority, they are only permitted to use 148 drum lines.
When approached regarding this discrepancy, Manager of the Shark Control Program, Jeff Krause simply stated in an email, “ I am not sure why some of the gear was not mentioned on the existing permit issued…”
Managing Director for Sea Shepherd Australia, Jeff Hansen has stated that this response is simply not good enough and has raised concerns that Fisheries Queensland is using 37 drum lines more than it is permitted to do so, within a Marine Park.
“We are talking about the deaths of thousands of protected and endangered marine life with the use of these drum lines, and with community support for non-lethal measures growing, it is time that those in charge of these programs started listening to the concerns of the public.,” Mr Hansen said.
Sea Shepherd recently held an online petition regarding the use of drum lines and shark nets within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which saw over 34,500 people state that they wanted to see the removal of lethal measures to shark control in favor of initiatives such as eco shark barriers, sonar technology and shark spotting programs.
This feedback has been provided to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which will hopefully take the comments on board before granting any further permits to Fisheries Queensland.
“If it is the case that Fisheries Queensland has not been permitted to have the 37 additional drum lines in place within the Great Barrier Reef, Sea Shepherd Australia will call for their removal and ask for an inquiry to take place as to how these drum lines were added to the program without the permit required,” Mr Hansen said.
The 185 drum lines within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park are currently located at:
Operation Apex Harmony
site for more information