Left to right: Dean Jefferys, Migaloo 2 Foundation; Kathrina Southwell, Australian Seabird Rescue; and Ian Cohen, Ex Greens NSW MP at the Byron Bay Senate shark mitigation hearing.
Left to right: Dean Jefferys, Migaloo 2 Foundation; Kathrina Southwell, Australian Seabird Rescue; and Ian Cohen, Ex Greens NSW MP at the Byron Bay Senate shark mitigation hearing.

Conservationists plea to remove nets before whale deaths

MARINE conservation groups are urging the Department of Primary Industry to remove the shark nets amid fears some animals could lose their lives during the migration.

Certain members are insisting for a public review on the topic after Ballina Mayor, David Wright appeared keen to have the shark nets stay in place after the trial ends this month at the Senate shark mitigation hearing in Byron Bay.

MORE: Shark net debate continues

Marine conservation groups including Australian Seabird Rescue, Sunshine Coast Environmental Council, Migaloo 2 Foundation and Ex Greens NSW MP, Ian Cohen, have said they will write a letter asking the nets to be removed inline with other NSW regions who have already removed their shark nets.

The letter will address Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg, the Chair of the Senate inquiry into shark mitigation and the Ballina Mayor and will ask for a independent and public review be conducted at the completion of the trial.

Founder and Captain of the Marine conservation yacht Migaloo 2, Dean Jefferys, said over 172 non targeted species have died during the trail so far, including dolphins, endangered rays, turtles and sharks.

My Jefferys said the trial of the nets "could not be called a success by any means" and the protection the nets offer is a "convenient lie" fed to people.

Evidence has shown the number of actual marine deaths from shark nets may be much higher than reported as it does not include those who die after being released due to injury and stress.

This was demonstrated recently when a turtle washed up dead on Lennox Head with Shark net marks on it, Mr Jefferys said.

"More effective and non lethal methods such as drone spotting are being under funded," he said.


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