Experts meet to save grey nurse shark

CONSERVATIONISTS, scientists and industry experts will gather in Sydney tonight for a public meeting on the protection measures needed to bring the grey nurse shark back from the brink of extinction.

“The conservation of grey nurse sharks has suffered a huge setback in NSW as a result of the rollback of protection at key aggregation sites at Fish Rock, Green Island and the Solitary Islands,” Nature Conservation Council of NSW Chief Executive Officer Pepe Clarke said today.

“NSW Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson is set to make a decision on the management arrangements for grey nurse sharks that could allow high-impact fishing techniques near their breeding sites and habitat, with severe impacts on endangered sharks for years to come.

“Recent research by the NSW Department of Primary Industries clearly shows that grey nurse sharks interact with static fishing baits used near aggregation sites, and several types of fishing hooks can cause risks to them.

“In addition to the scientific evidence of continued threats to these sharks from current fishing activities, dive operators at South West Rocks that regularly visit Fish Rock and Green Island report seeing hooked and injured sharks on a regular basis,” he said.

The information session on protection for the critically endangered grey nurse shark will be held at the Sydney Aquarium from 6pm tonight. The public consultation process over the NSW Department of Primary Industries' Review of Grey Nurse Shark Protection is open until Friday, August 26 2011.



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