Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has welcomed $23.9 million to better understand marine species and their habitats whilst aiming to lower human-shark encounters, saying ‘any funding that will strengthen the protection of Australian swimmers and surfers whilst increasing understanding of our oceans is welcome’.
“It has taken vigorous campaigning but the Federal Government is beginning to see the light when it comes to research that will help develop methodologies that will help keep ocean users safe without compromising our healthy oceans.
“I'm really pleased to see the Minister's comments on integrating science into decision making. It is important that we have a better understanding of our marine environment and particular white sharks when developing our approach to human-shark encounters.
“There are already some non-lethal measures that could immediately be implemented to increase safety for ocean swimmers. In Western Australia we have repeatedly tried to educate our State Government about these alternatives.
“I look forward to seeing the results of the research to come from the Marine Biodiversity Hub in Hobart. It will be even better to see research turned into measures that will hopefully deter sharks rather than culling them.
“A firmer understanding of white shark populations around our coast will be very welcome. To rollout effective mitigation we must know as much about sharks as possible.
“I congratulate the #nosharkcull campaigners for a relentless yet informed and patient campaign that has spanned the last couple of years. I’m sure their campaigning entrenched in evidence helped influence this announcement”.