Photo: Dr Charlie Huveneers presents at the Noosa Biosphere Marine Species Protection Symposium, May 2021.
MEDIA RELEASE – 19 MAY 2021
The Noosa Biosphere Reserve Foundation (NBRF) hosted a Marine Species Protection Symposium on Tuesday, 18 May to develop alternative shark control measures for Noosa’s beaches that will safeguard humans while minimising harm to marine life.
Following a 2019 report, Queensland Shark Control Program: A Review of Alternative Approaches, the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries plans to trial a series of alternative shark control measures across the state.
“We are keen to find alternative shark control measures that provide protection for both marine species and beachgoers,” said Greg Schumann, Director of the NBRF.
Current methods under Queensland’s Shark Control Program such as drum lines or net barriers, provide a level of human protection, however non-target marine species including dolphins, turtles, juvenile whales and threatened shark species continue to be caught in this equipment.
The Symposium was facilitated by leading shark experts Dr Charlie Huveneers and Dr Daryl McPhee and brought together marine conservation groups, local surf lifesaving clubs, Noosa tourism operators, local and state government representatives, leading researchers, and marine experts.
Stakeholder groups presented key considerations and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries presented current practices and future alternative options.
Dr Daryl McPhee from Bond University said that the goal was to minimise impacts on non-target species in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve.
“What we are looking for are local solutions to this local challenge and I am confident that the Symposium will provide some positive outcomes,” said Dr McPhee.
Outcomes of the Marine Symposium will be finalised in the coming weeks with a proposal for a bespoke trial of shark control measures in the Noosa Biosphere Reserve submitted to the Queensland Government in June.