Seven tiger sharks, one bull shark and two other sharks were caught in the Great Barrier Reef drum lines in 2018-19.
Seven tiger sharks, one bull shark and two other sharks were caught in the Great Barrier Reef drum lines in 2018-19.

Surely human lives are more important than sharks

WHETHER drum lines provide a real or perceived safety net is irrelevant.

Surely human lives are more important than sharks.

As we begin school holidays today and families no doubt flock to the Northern Beaches for a dip, they will do so without any form of protection.

The State Government yesterday revealed it had already removed the 24 drum lines protecting Eimeo, Bucasia and Blacks Beach following Wednesday's Federal Court decision.

After being granted permission by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in 2017, the Queensland Government installed more than 170 government drum lines at 27 locations, including 24 at Mackay's Northern Beaches.

The court decision, which effectively prohibits shark culling in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, comes after Humane Society International earlier this year launched a legal challenge.

The environmental group challenged that permission, claiming it was inconsistent with laws designed to protect the reef and was leading to habitat destruction.

The group also claimed the detrimental impact the shark culls were having on the reef's ecosystem was not justified because there was no clear science to show the program actually reduced attacks.

The court heard during the hearing there was only one shark fatality in Queensland in the past seven years, at Cid Harbour in November last year.

That death followed two other shark attacks in the same area on this week in September last year.

Because the court's decision required daily drumline checks to give sharks a better chance of survival, the drum lines have been immediately removed so contractors do not put their lives at risk.

It's completely understandable. Who wants to reach into the water and unhook a 2m tiger shark?

I have swum all over the world with many different shark varieties and they are beautiful in their natural habitat. I wouldn't want to lose that.

And we are statistically more likely to experience serious injury or death driving to the beach.

But my greatest fear, a fear shared by many in our community, is that this decision leads to more shark attacks, causing injury or death, on the Northern Beaches.

After last year's attacks causing a blow to the Whitsundays tourism industry, we can ill afford more bad publicity, nor loss of life.

And the first thing people will say? This could have been prevented.



KNIFE THREAT: Man allegedly tells mum he’ll kill her dog

premium_icon KNIFE THREAT: Man allegedly tells mum he’ll kill her dog

The man denied allegations he threatened violence

Quest to reunite stolen stamp and coin stash with owner

premium_icon Quest to reunite stolen stamp and coin stash with owner

Police put out the call to find the owner of suspected stolen property.