Sunday, May 6, 2012

Petition to Remove the Nets

Guest Blog
By Karen Wadsworth

In Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa, over the last two weeks the archaic nets used by the Sharks Board has caused the death of numerous sharks and other marine life. At least 5 Tiger sharks, 1 Great White and a Black Tip were tangled in the nets and drowned.

They were attracted to the nets as a small whale (believed to be a sperm whale) was caught in the nets and died, so the sharks came to eat its dead carcass. Approximately 9 Tigers and a Great White were released from the nets, but their survival is in doubt, as the lactic acid which builds up while entangled could cause their death anyway.

These nets are recognised as being inneffective in keeping sharks away from bathers, as quoted on the Sharks Board's own website "Shark nets do not form a complete barrier and sharks can swim over, under or around the ends of the nets. Neither, of course, do drumlines form a physical barrier." The killing of marine life in a Marine Protected Area (Aliwal Shoal) is then senseless and cruel.

There are other means that can be used to limit the amount of inshore shark activity, and these methods should be investigated as alternatives. The Sharks Board is in contravention of legislation protecting the sharks in South Africa (The Marine Living Resources Act (Act 18 of 1998) as they are responsible for the deaths of the sharks by continuing to use the nets that they know will kill them.

Please sign the petition (link noted below) and spread the word - the more awareness created around this topic will enable us to stand together and force the Sharks Board to listen to those who care about protecting our Oceans.


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