A decision by Australia’s Administrative Appeals Tribunal on whether to continue allowing the killing of sharks in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is due out soon.

According to a recent post on the Australian branch of the Humane Society International’s website:

“The AAT will consider the evidence presented in the coming weeks before handing down its decision.”

HSI had brought a legal challenge to the Queensland government’s shark-culling program, and a three-day hearing ended on February 1st.

Humane Society International’s Head of Campaigns Nicola Beynon said:

“The Great Barrier Reef is the crown jewel of Australia’s seas, and killing its sharks is an unacceptable travesty that must end. Drumlines were first introduced in the 1960s, and since then there has been 60 years of progress in technology and our understanding of shark behavior. There are better ways to protect ocean users that don’t kill our marine wildlife.”

In 2017, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority granted the Queensland government a 10-year permit for 173 drumlines that were subsequently placed throughout the marine park.

HSI argued the decision conflicted with the Authority’s responsibility to protect the reef, since the drumlines don’t discriminate between rays, turtles, sharks or any other marine fish.

Beynon continued:

“As apex predators, sharks play a vital role in maintaining the health of the Great Barrier Reef. The lethal drumlines are catching and killing protected and harmless species that are important to the reef’s overall health. The Great Barrier Reef is already under severe stress from climate change and the last thing it needs is a further assault on its ecology from its own management authority.”

For more info about the lawsuit, check out the HSI website.

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