CLEVER BUOY TRIALS AND SHARK CONTROL PROGRAM
CALL TO ACTION FOR BETTER SHARK CONTROL PROGRAMS
Several events in September, 2014, prompted me to take personal responsibility for a call to fast track better Shark Control Programs:
Hanna, a high school student who spoke at a rally on the Gold Coast where she asked everyone present to help stop the culling of sharks in Queensland.
The community stand at Byron Bay, NSW against drum lines and shark nets following a Category 4 human-shark incident.
A recommendation by the EPA to discontinue the shark culling in Western Australia in the wake of 6751 public submissions and petitions with over 25,000 signatures.
The People’s Choice Award for “Most Dynamic Display”: SOS – Save Our Sharks won at the Sunshine Coast “Kids In Action” conference.
An invitation to celebrate with the Kids In Action winners at The Spit, Mooloolaba, where the shark nets for the Shark Control Program are stored.
Sensational media coverage relating to sharks that came to the attention of an international competitor ahead of his arrival as our guest for the Sunshine Coast Ironman Event.
Facebook friend, Michael Rutzen and 60 Minutes reporter, Allison Langdon scuba diving with great white sharks in shark alley and showing non-lethal shark barriers modelled on kelp forest.
The essence of email to my local, state and federal representatives, federal minister for the environment, state minister for fisheries and reviewers/manager of the Queensland shark control program follows:
Re: Clever Buoy Trials and Shark Control Programs.
I contact you as a concerned Australian with a marine science, teaching and citizen-science/conservation background.
I spent July and August in South Africa beginning at Kwazulu-Natal SHARKS BOARD and discussions with Dr Matt Dicken [Senior Scientist] about shark control and contemporary shark research.
As a shark specialty scuba instructor, I hosted baited and non-baited shark diving and a sardine run in open ocean for an international group including days with great white shark experts Chris & Monique Fallows and Brian McFarlane.
In September, 2013, I had a Category 1 encounter with a great white shark at Byron Bay at the end of a week of surveys for Grey Nurse Shark Watch.
Four divers were witness to a non-threatening incident while a dozen snorkelers and about as many divers were in our vicinity at Julian Rocks.
One year on, a Category 4 incident at Byron Bay involving British expat, Bryan Wilcox, made headline news ahead of stories on the Royals, Islamic State and “home-grown terrorism”.
I commend Bryans wife, Victoria, when she told The Echo that despite her deep grief she would like to stay in the area.
‘I want to reach out to the Byron community,’ she said. ‘I don’t blame the shark, or the town or anyone,’ she says. ‘The beach is such a health giver.’
It is well known and scientifically evident that sharks and large ocean predators protect us from highly detrimental environmental consequences.
However, as more Australians enter the water, the potential for shark bite increases.
It is a dilemma.
We need to protect sharks in order to protect the balance in the ocean.
We must also protect individuals from harm when our beach-based and institutionalised education fails to provide shark savvy for personal safety in a shared ocean.
I believe that fast tracking Clever BuoyTM research, development and deployment is a major step in resolving the ocean sharing issue between swimmers and sharks.
Applied Clever Buoy technologies are non-lethal practices for Shark Control Programs.
Trials could demonstrate these technologies to be a preferred shark mitigation system suitable for limiting Category 3 and 4 human – shark interactions.
With the greatest respect for you, your office, protocols and responsibilities, I would like to press for the following and to receive your response for action:
1 Fast track research and development of Clever Buoy by review of funds in place for shark research, shark culling, shark control programs and other sources.
2 Enable fiscal and regulatory provision for Clever Buoy trials to be scheduled for the Sunshine Coast, Qld and locations like the Gold Coast, Qld and Byron Bay, NSW, as other states and international communities will benefit from trials at diverse localities.
3 Three tiers of government acknowledge Clever Buoy trials to heighten public awareness of non-lethal shark mitigation and beach safety.
4 Clever Buoy be flagged with shark-safe barriers, shark spotter programs, “eye in the sky” drones, eco shark barriers and shark smart education as non-lethal alternatives to shark nets and drum lines.
5 Policy relating to shark control programs and target shark species reflect contemporary scientific research and humane practices.
6 Maximising non-lethal management strategies for great white shark Carcharodon carcharias, bull shark Carcharhinus leucas and the tiger shark Galeocerdo cuvier.
7 Records for target species and non-target species caught by Shark Control Programs be available from sites like DAFF Fisheries Services shark-control-program catch-numbers
8 PRESS RELEASES relating to science, policy and the public discourse on human-shark interaction include Categories 1 to 4 as proposed by Christopher Neff and Robert Hueter, Journal of Environmental Studies & Sciences, 2013.
It is time to show our beach loving nation and a world that has been watching us that we are proud of what began as a “good idea” at a telecommunications conference.
Have Australians value Clever BuoyTM as an applied, game changing technology and demonstrate that shark control does not have to be lethal to be effective.
Queensland Fisheries Management Review is current and germane to several points listed above.
I welcome invitation from you and your representatives to participate with me in promoting and employing constructive, practical ways to use non-lethal practices for Shark Control Programs.
Without Prejudice and
Recipients of my email were: Federal Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, Local Member for Kawana, Jarrod Bleijie, Local Federal Member for Fisher, Mal Brough, Sunshine Coast Councillor, Mayor, Mark Jamieson, Local Division 4 Councillor, Deputy Mayor, Chris Thompson, Queensland Minister [DAFF] Hon Dr John McVeigh & MRAG Asia Pacific, Manager Shark Control Program [QLD], Jeff Krause, Principal Media and Communication Officer [DAFF, Fisheries], Sacha Kitson. Cc: Clever Buoy: Optus & Shark Mitigation Systems
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of hyperlinks was attached to individualized email.
On Monday, 15 September, 2014 the Kids in Action award for SOS: Save our Sharks was celebrated by these kids of action at the Mooloolaba Spit close to the shark control nets that are stored next to the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol. The office was “Closed for lunch”, but I’m certain that these young communicators will look forward to a time when the shark nets on their Sunshine Coast are replaced by Clever Buoy and non-lethal, sustainable, marine-life-friendly practices.