Statement: shark control program hearing finishes today

Attribute to a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority spokesperson:

“This week the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s decision to grant the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries permission, subject to conditions, to conduct a Shark Control Program and an associated research program in the Marine Park was before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

“The hearing finishes today. The Tribunal requested the parties provide a written submission prior to the Tribunal making their decision.

“Under the Fisheries Act 1994 (Qld) the Queensland Government is required to establish and manage a shark control program to reduce the possibility of shark attacks on humans in Queensland, including the Marine Park.

“Under the Marine Park Act and Zoning Plan, a program to take animals that pose a threat to human life or safety and to conduct research is allowed if a permit is granted by the Marine Park Authority.

“The Marine Park Authority’s role in this context is to act as a regulator and assess the application made by the Queensland Government to conduct a Shark Control Program against the assessment criteria and ensure the use of the Marine Park is consistent with ecosystem based management and the principles of ecologically sustainable use.

“The adaptive management approach reflected in the permit conditions imposed by the Marine Park Authority, as well as its powers more broadly as a regulator, put in place safeguards to manage the identified risk posed by the Shark Control Program consistent with the principles of ecological sustainable use and allow for any new technologies.

“Information on the shark control program permit and associated research program, including the assessment report and statement of reasons, is on the Marine Park Authority’s website.”