Shark activists take the bait ... off govt drum lines

Save Our Sharks activist Andrew Archer wants an alternative to drum line baits.
Save Our Sharks activist Andrew Archer wants an alternative to drum line baits. Nolan Verheij-Full

KINGSCLIFF shark crusader Andrew Archer is preparing to go to dangerous and illegal lengths to save sharks.

Mr Archer and a group of activists are so fed up with sharks being culled off the Gold Coasts that they're contemplating de-baiting government drum lines to save marine life from injury and death.

"We are highly considering taking our own steps to stop it happening," Mr Archer confirmed.

"These nets are no good and have to go as they injure innocent marine life and there has to be better options."

The group, Save Our Sharks, had inspired to act after a juvenile Great White Shark was caught and killed 300m off Snapper Rocks during the Quiksilver Pro surf contest.

"It's going to come to boil as they are now killing an endangered species," he said.

The size and age of the culled Great White Shark has rubbed salt in the wounds of the Gold Coast and Tweed group's members according to Mr Archer, who said the shark posed no threat to swimmers.

"That Great White was a young shark, up to not much at all."

Mr Archer says he and others will be going out to take baits off drum lines in the next few weeks in an attempt to cut down on the number of sharks being caught.

The other marine life that becomes tangled in shark nets and on drum lines is another big motivating factor for the group Mr Archer is a part of.

"When I have cruised past the nets and drum lines I have often had to rescue other species - like turtles - that become tangled in the nets."

Measuring less than 3.4m in length the male Great White Shark caught off Snapper Rocks would normally have been protected under Schedule 78(1) of the Queensland Fisheries Act 1994. However under the State Government's drum line program, any species over 2m can be culled.

Any commercial or recreational fisherman caught killing or deliberately targeting a Great White Shark in Queensland waters would face large fines though.

Common bites

  • Shark species caught on Gold Coast beaches in 2013:
  • Bull Sharks (2)
  • Hammer Head Shark (5)
  • Grey Nurse (1) , critically endangered
  • Long Nose Whaler (5)
  • Tiger Shark (5)
  • Great White Shark (4)
  • Drum line and net locations
  • Greenmount, Coolangatta, Kirra, Currumbin

Topics:  editors picks shark

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