NSW acts to protect hammerhead sharks

23 May, 2012 N743
Humane Society International (HSI) today welcomed the listing of two hammerhead shark species in NSW under the Fisheries Management Act 1994, following an HSI nomination. The great hammerhead shark has been listed as vulnerable and the scalloped hammerhead shark as endangered under the Act.

“The listing of these two species is a big leap forward in the conservation of these sharks in NSW waters,” said Alexia Wellbelove of Humane Society International. “These listings will ban the sale and possession of these threatened species and help to provide a safe haven for them in NSW waters.”

Great and scalloped hammerhead sharks are caught in the NSW Ocean Trap and Line Fishery, targeted by recreational fishers as well as being caught in the shark nets off NSW beaches. HSI has consistently called for the removal of bather protection nets off NSW beaches due to the impacts they have on protected species such as the grey nurse shark and hammerhead shark.

“Hammerhead sharks are targeted worldwide for their fins which are of high value. Efforts are underway globally to better conserve our shark species and this is a great first step taken by NSW to protect these sharks,” continued Ms Wellbelove. “We call on the Federal Government and other States to also consider listing these species to ensure they can be afforded the full protection they deserve, and now have in NSW, whilst in all Australian waters.”

Data from NSW, Queensland and international waters suggests that hammerhead sharks have declined by between 75% and more than 90% in less than two generations, representing a very high risk of extinction in the near future.

Contact:
Alexia Wellbelove, HSI Senior Program Manager – (02) 9973 1728 or 0415 954 600

Notes
The final determinations of the Fisheries Scientific Committee for the great hammerhead shark, Sphyrna mokarran, and scalloped hammerhead shark, Sphyrna lewini, are available at http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/fisheries/species-protec... HSI concentrates on the preservation of endangered animals and ecosystems and works to ensure quality of life for all animals, both domestic and wild. HSI is the largest animal protection not-for-profit organisation in the world, with over 10 million supporters globally and has been established in Australia since 1994.