Media Statement

Hon. Lynn MacLaren MLC
(Member for South Metropolitan Region)

04. January 2014

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Joining thousands of West Australian beachgoers and ocean-users at today’s rally on sharks at Cottesloe, Greens State and Federal MPs have condemned the shark cull policy and called on the Barnett Government to abandon it.

“The thousands of people attending today’s national rallies are evidence of how deeply repugnant this policy is to Australians,” Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Marine Spokesperson said today.

“We love our beaches and oceans, and understand the importance of protecting vulnerable species and ecosystems.
“This is an indiscriminate cull program. Drum lines in particular will not only kill the great white shark but numerous other marine species, ranging from dolphins to turtles and smaller sharks.

“There is absolutely no doubt that this proposal should be assessed at a Federal level because of the wide number of Federally-protected vulnerable marine species it will kill, but the Federal Minister for the Environment is missing in action.

“A petition opposing the cull now has over 36,000 signatures from WA, Australia and internationally. I will table that petition in the Senate when we resume Parliament,” Senator Siewert concluded.

WA Greens MLC and Biodiversity Spokesperson Lynn MacLaren has challenged Fisheries Minister Hon Ken Baston MLC to produce scientific evidence supporting this strategy.

“When the policy was announced I challenged the State Government to nominate a single scientist and reveal any evidence in support of this policy – I am still waiting for an answer,” Ms MacLaren said.

“I now have a new challenge: I ask the Government to explain what legal advice it has received to show it can contract commercial operators to hunt and indiscriminately kill great white sharks that are protected under State, Federal and international law, as well as the numerous other protected species that will be killed on drum lines.

“If the Premier has any one shark scientist to back his policy, let him put them forward so we can hear this person’s evidence. Let him also make the legal basis for his policy clear.

“Sadly, all of the evidence that is available so far is that this policy is environmentally irresponsible and won’t reduce sharks attacks; in short, it’s a dud.

“I call on the Premier to tear up this strategy, cancel the tender, and re-direct the $1 million he allocated to hiring contractors to hunt and kill sharks and set drum lines into trials of protective enclosures; research and education; and personal and area-based shark repellents and deterrents, all of which will improve marine safety with no loss of marine life,” Ms MacLaren concluded.

Source: The Greens, Australia