Greens Welcome EPA Assessment on Shark Drum Lines

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said the community’s concerted opposition to the culling of sharks paid off today with the EPA announcing its willingness to assess the drum line program.

“In a submission to the EPA, I called for a Public Environmental Review of the WA Government’s controversial shark drum line proposal,” said Ms MacLaren. “The EPA determined not to assess the cull, declaring its short time frame would not result in any significant effect on the environment.

“Today, six weeks later and faced with a shark cull proposal that extends into 2017, the EPA has determined that a Public Environmental Review is warranted. 
“This is a good decision. It’s what the agency should have done the first time round.

“22,000 people asked for an assessment two months ago in submissions to the EPA.

“The campaign against Colin Barnett’s senseless and cruel culling of sharks is unprecedented. Overwhelmingly, Western Australia has called for an end to the drum lines.

“We’ve just seen photographs of stingray that had its face run-through with a huge knife because officers were unwilling to bring it on board.

“The new proposal has also been referred to the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and I am making an extensive submission on that today.

“With increasing ocean temperatures in the Leeuwin current putting pressure on endangered species, this is no time to be culling sharks. A report by the Australian National University found that climate change in WA is likely to alter habitats, shift distributions of marine life and change relationships between sharks and other marine species.

“The government should have invested its time in the broader program of shark hazard mitigation, including aerial and beach patrols, research into non-lethal alternatives, improved monitoring of tagged sharks and improved coordination between shark sightings and warning systems.