A pack of sharks gorging on fish at Agnes Water in 2012.
A pack of sharks gorging on fish at Agnes Water in 2012. ROB BLACK

Group launches petition against drum lines, nets

JUST two days after two sharks were sighted at Agnes Water's Main Beach a petition is calling for shark drum lines and nets to be eradicated.

Capricorn Conservation Council launched the petition yesterday, calling for more research to be done.

The petition, written to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, describes the use of drum lines and shark nets as "lethal shark control".

CCC co-ordinator Michael McCabe said the council wanted to see more data analysis on the decline of small sharks or endangered species such as the great hammerhead and non-target species such as turtles, rays and dolphins.

"CCC is suggesting studies be done into shark-population changes and the impact on the species fertility, given the lengthy shark gestation and sexual maturity cycle," Mr McCabe said.

"Unintended negative biodiversity impacts could be happening to prey species, the balance between herbivorous and carnivorous prey fish species and other subtle ecosystem and food chain impacts, for example, to the coral-seaweed balance."

The petition recommends that there should be no more nets or drum lines at Queensland beaches.

Instead they want to see the adoption of a scientifically reviewed program similar to that of the New South Wales shark-prevention programs.

On Sunday the Agnes Water beach was closed after two sharks were seen, but residents were back in the water on Monday.

Agnes Water surfer Wayne "Grom" Mellick said he counted more than 30 surfers at the main beach yesterday.

"This time of year we do have those bait balls that can come along the coastlines," he said.

He said it was a timely reminder for residents to swim only while it is safe and not at dawn or dusk.



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