Raising Awareness About Shark Safe Behaviour and Alternatives to Baited Drum Lines and Shark Nets

Tony Isaacson recently posted these details on his Facebook page: –

“I flag this video in the wake of Category 4 (fatal) human-shark incidents in Queensland (spearfisher, Fraser Island) and NSW (surfer, Wooli). Both incidents were preventable. There have been ten human-shark incidents that ended badly in Australia this year (2020?). More will follow in 2020 unless shark safe measures are better understood and actioned by individuals, communities and instruments of government. Despite no chum being used to attract a tiger shark in this post by (Dean Cropp) the son of film maker Ben Cropp, several points could have (been) made to improve safety and survival for those who have physical encounters with sharks by choice or by happenstance. This is not the time nor place to make those points. Queensland’s SharkSmart program has come up short on content and reach to the people who are most at risk. Please follow FB Page DiveCareDare. Make comments and share. Your collective actions will save lives this year. Be a difference for those who cannot speak. Influence those who cannot be saved from themselves. Stop preventable incidents hurting individuals, their friends, family, local community and regional economies that COVID-19 has challenged already. Friends and followers will be witness to efforts that are intended to raise awareness about shark safe behaviour and alternatives to baited drumlines and shark nets ahead of the Queensland State Election in October 2020. With the help of many unknown to me, I hope to increase votes in support of candidates who understand that alternative measures to lethal shark control are the future. When ENVOY Cull is released for a global audience, our tourism sector and destination Queensland will be affected because of the token measures that have been allocated to non-lethal ways to have people safer in wild marine and constructed aquatic environments. It behoves whoever wins the Queensland State Election to have an official platform that will move us towards better, science-based shark mitigation and measures that heighten safety and survival for people who engage in activities away from the watchful eyes of our excellent surf patrols. Surf Patrols are more effective than the sum of all Shark Control Program assets in Queensland. Bull sharks frequent estuaries, rivers, lakes, canals and dams that are subjected to flood events and tidal inundation. In zero visibility an exploratory bump or bite can have tragic consequences that are preventable. We must coexist with bull sharks like we must coexist with COVID-19 and other life affecting hazards in our natural world. Elimination is NOT an option. Many sharing common purpose will be a difference for people, sharks, and charismatic marine megafauna here in Queensland. We could and should be a showcase for world best practice. There (is) no need to watch the video. If you do, make comment about things that could have had these adventurers in the water enjoying the sentient nature of a tiger shark at this remote location far away from medical help if things went badly.”

The video in question is Dangers in paradise – EP06 Escape Into Isolation – Barefoot Captain. This image is taken from the video header: –

Barefoot Captain refers to “A crew of sailing adventurers and film makers have chosen to self-isolate themselves with Seals, Sharks and other sea creatures. Leaving behind civilisation and COVID-19 to live a life at sea.” There is also a Barefoot Captain Facebook page and a YouTube channel.

By Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is the current President of MLSSA and is a long-standing member of the Society. Steve is a keen diver, underwater explorer, photographer and is chief author of the Society's extensive back catalogue of newsletters and journals.

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