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Extinction for Grey Nurse Shark
EXTINCTION EVIDENT FOR GREY NURSE SHARKS Question: What do you call a Shark with a Hook in its Mouth? Answer: A Grey Nurse. The above joke is not all that funny but unfortunately it is very true. The Grey Nurse Shark is considered Australia’s most threatened marine species and a three year study by NSW Fisheries, Environment Australia & the scuba diving community has found that there are less than 300 Grey Nurse Sharks remaining on the East Coast of Australia. The NSW Government has just released the Draft Recovery Plan for Grey Nurse Sharks for pub lic comment and unfortunately it does very little to protect the species from extinction. The NSW Government appears to be more concerned about the negligible impact of scuba diving than it does about the significant impact of Recreational Fishing on the shark. Recreational Fishers are killing the Grey Nurse Shark! The Commonwealth Recovery Plan for Grey Nurse Sharks identified Recreational Fishing as the Greatest Threat to the recovery of the Grey Nurse Sharks. It appears the NSW Government has ignored the advice of the Commonwealth Grey Nurse Shark Recovery Team (made up of experts from Environment Australia, NSW Fisheries, Queensland Fisheries and CSIRO) in fear of upsetting recreational anglers before the upcoming NSW election. The only way to ensure that the Grey Nurse Shark does not become extinct is to ban all forms of line fishing from the 13 critical habitat sites and declare them as No Take Sanctuary Zones. Unless these sites are protected from line fishing, it is inevitable that the remaining 300 grey nurse sharks will be incidentally caught and killed. This is the first and only chance for anyone who is interested in the conservation of the Grey Nurse Shark to voice their opinion. Public comments on the draft recovery plan must be submitted by 28 June 2002. Information on where to get a copy of the draft recovery plan and how to make a submission can be found on the last page. The Impact of Fishing on Grey Nurse Sharks (Carcharias taurus) Image 1: Grey nurse shark with large hook in left hand side of the jaw. The hook was actually hooked through the top and bottom jaws and it was unlikely that the shark was able to feed. This shark was observed for one week and then disappeared. Image taken at Broughton Island located off Port Stephens NSW in June 2001. Image 2: Grey nurse shark with hooks in left hand side of jaw and large wire trace trailing behind. This is common recreational fishing equipment. Image taken at The Pinnacle located of Forster NSW in January 2002. Image 3: Juvenile grey nurse shark with three gang hook set up caught in the left hand side of the jaw. This is typical recreational fishing gear. Image taken at the Tollgate Islands off Batemans Bay NSW in December 2001. Image 4: Evidence of a wound directly caused by a hook. It is unknown what impact this injury had on the shark as it was only ever been seen once by divers. Image taken at Fish Rock NSW in July 2001. Image 5: Juvenile grey nurse shark at Magic Point located off Maroubra with recreational fishing hook in right side of jaw. Image taken at Magic Point NSW in November 2001. Image 6: Grey nurse shark with large ‘Gaff’ wound. It appears a fisher has caught the shark and used a gaff hook to land the shark. Image taken at Fish Rock NSW in July 2001. Image 7: Grey nurse shark with hook and line in right side of jaw, appears to be recreational fishing equipment. Image taken at the Pinnacle off Forster NSW in August 2001. Image 8: The grey nurse shark has a hook and line in right part of its jaw, an infection has started to occur in the base of the mouth. Image taken at Green Island at South West Rocks NSW in September 2001. Image 9: Grey nurse shark with large hook embedded in left side of jaw. Image taken at Fish Rock NSW in October 2001. Image 10: Grey nurse shark with large stainless steel hook and line in left side of jaw, appears to be recreational fishing equipment. Image taken at Seal Rocks NSW, date is unknown. Image 11: Grey Nurse with huge hook and large wire trace hanging from right side of mouth. Photo taken at Forster Pinnacle on April 11th 2002. The day this photo was taken, over 80% of the grey nurse sharks at the Forster Pinnacle had hooks and lines hanging from their mouths. Image 12: Grey Nurse with huge hook and large piece of rope hanging from right side of mouth. Photo taken at Forster Pinnacle on April 11th 2002. The day this photo was taken, 21 of the 24 grey nurse sharks at the Forster Pinnacle had hooks and lines hanging from their mouths. This fishing setup is used by amateur fishers. Image 13: This Grey nurse shark will probably never mate again. The shark has a large hook with mono –filament line hanging from its claspers. Photo taken at Forster Pinnacle NSW on April 11th 2002. Typical recreational fishing setup. Image 14: This grey nurse shark was fortunate to escape the fishers. However, the fishers removed the top fins, the side fins and the bottom of the tail fin before they put the shark back. The shark was observed for 3 weeks swimming around in distress, it was never seen again. Photo taken at the Cod Grounds NSW in 2000. Image 15: Two dead grey nurse sharks found at the South West Rocks boat ramp in July 2000. The sharks have had their side fins and top fins removed. Image 16: The above picture is an indication of the fishing pressure that grey nurse sharks and black cod are subjected to at Fish Rock, located at SW Rocks. Fish Rock is a proposed critical habitat site for grey nurse sharks. The two boats on the right are dive boats diving on the grey nurse sharks, the four other boats are line fishing directly on top of the shark gutter. Divers in July 2001 observed sharks being hooked underwater at this location at found that over 50% of the sharks had hooks and line. Image taken at Fish Rock NSW in July 2001. Send in a submission Copies of the Draft NSW Grey Nurse Shark Recovery Plan can be found on the NSW Fisheries website (www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au). The NSW Fisheries Grey Nurse Shark information page can be found at: www.fisheries.nsw.gov.au/conservation/species/grey-nurse/home-grey-nurse.htm All those concerned about the future of Grey Nurse Sharks are encouraged to make a submission before June 28 2002. In your submission you should state: - All 13 Grey Nurse Shark Critical Habitat Sites MUST be declared No Take Sanctuary Zones. - All forms of Line Fishing MUST be BANNED from the 13 Grey Nurse Shark Critical Habitat Sites. Written submissions should be submitted to the address below, faxed to NSW Fisheries on (02) 4916 3880, or you can make an online submission at the NSW Fisheries website: Threatened Species Unit (Grey Nurse Shark) NSW Fisheries Private Bag 1 Nelson Bay NSW 2315 Fax: 02 4916 3880 Also, to make sure that the NSW Government listens to your submission send a copy to the Premier of NSW: The Hon Bob Carr Premier of NSW Parliament House Macquarie Street SYDNEY NSW 2000 Submissions must be received by Friday 28 June 2002. Grey Nurse Shark Information Days Community information days are being held throughout the public comment period. Members of the community are encouraged to come along and discuss the draft recovery plan and have a say. Public submissions can also be handed in at the Public information days. Drop in any time between 3pm and 7pm at any of the following locations: Location Venue Day Date Byron Bay Byron Bay Surf Club Wednesday 12 June 02 Bay St, Byron Bay Coffs Harbour Norm Jordan Pavilion Tuesday 11 June 02 Coffs Harbour Showground Pacific Hwy, Coffs Harbour South West Rocks SW Rocks Surf Club Thursday 13 June 02 Horseshoe Bay Reserve South West Rocks Port Macquarie Hastings Library Friday 14 June 02 Corner of Gordon and Grant Street, Port Macquarie Forster/Seal Rocks Great Lakes Council Wednesday 29 May 02 Committee Room Breese Parade, Forster Port Stephens NSW Fisheries Visitors Centre Thursday 30 May 02 Taylors Beach Rd Taylors Beach Newcastle Newcastle City Hall Tuesday 28 May 02 Newcastle Room 290 King St, Newcastle Sydney Vonnie Young Auditorium Monday 27 May 02 Bowen Library 666-673 Anzac Parade Maroubra Shellharbour Oakleigh Park Hall Monday 3 June 02 Shell Harbour Road, Warilla (adjacent to Tennis Courts) Jervis Bay Huskisson Community Centre Tuesday 4 June 02 Corner of Tomarong Road and Dent Street, Huskisson Batemans Bay Batemans Bay Community Hall Wednesday 5 June 02 2 Museum Place, Batemans Bay Narooma Narooma Sport and Game Thursday 6 June 02 Fishing Club 25 Riverside Drive, Narooma Canberra John Gorton Building – Reef Friday 7 June 02 Room – Ground Floor Environment Australia, King Edward Terrace, Canberra
"Extinction for Grey Nurse Shark"