Greens call out for submissions to national inquiry into shark hazards and deterrents

Greens WA MLC Lynn MacLaren has urged Western Australian ocean-users, scientists and businesspeople to make submissions to a national Senate inquiry into sharks hazards and deterrents, initiated by Greens Senator for Tasmania Peter Whish-Wilson.

“Thanks to Peter, a keen surfer, for initiating this important national inquiry with his Senate colleagues,” Ms MacLaren said.

“The terms of reference should enable a meaningful, science-based set of recommendations to result.

“Since the community and the Greens worked together to put a stop to Premier Barnett’s disastrous shark cull in WA  in 2014, there has been a big change public awareness and understanding about sharks, and a growth in solutions to mitigating shark hazards – this inquiry is ideally timed to capture that learning.

“If there was a silver lining to the capture of 170 tiger sharks, two mako sharks and stingrays on the drum lines in WA in 2014, it was that we gained a much better understanding about which species of shark are the real danger, when and in what circumstances those risks are higher and genuine options for mitigating those risks.

“I strongly urge scientists, ocean-users, business people involve in shark deterrent and risk management products and other members of the public to make a submission.

“There will be an opportunity to attend and address hearings, including one in Perth later this year, date and venue to be confirmed.”

Public submissions are due Friday 3 March 2017.  The terms of reference cover ‘the efficacy and regulation of shark mitigation and deterrent measures’, with particular attention to

  • Research into shark numbers, behaviour and habitat;
  • The regulation of mitigation and deterrent measures under Federal environmental legislation, including exemptions from a controlled action under section 158 of the EPBC Act 1999;
  • The range of mitigation and deterrent measures currently in use;
  • Emerging mitigation and deterrent measures;
  • Bycatch from mitigation and deterrent measures;
  • Alternatives to currently employed mitigation and deterrent measures, including education;
  • The impact of shark attacks on tourism and related industries; and
  • Any other relevant matters.

More details including how to make submissions, are available at are available at: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/Sharkmitigation