Rare dolphins and dugongs die after being caught in fishing nets, Barrier Reef authority says

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Updated

November 18, 2017 11:40:03

Dugongs and snubfin dolphins have died after being caught in industrial fishing nets in northern Queensland waters, authorities have confirmed.

Key factors:

  • At least two snubfin dolphins and 4 dugongs killed since September
  • GBRMPA solely launched info after media inquiries
  • WWF Australia calling for extra net-free zones

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) stated two snubfin dolphins drowned after being caught in a industrial fishing internet operation in October.

“The fisher who caught the dolphins followed all required fishing rules and protocols, including attendance of the net and reporting of the incident,” a GBRMPA spokesperson stated.

In September and October, 4 dugongs have been discovered lifeless in Bowling Green Bay close to Townsville, with no less than one killed by a industrial fishing internet.

GBRMPA stated a second lifeless dugong was discovered floating in shut proximity to a industrial netting operation, whereas the opposite two carcbades within the space have been too decomposed to find out a reason behind dying.

The authority solely launched the data in response to a media inquiry and has refused to disclose the place the snubfin dolphins died, resulting from privateness issues.

It additionally stated it couldn’t launch images of the lifeless dolphins for privateness causes.

The snubfin dolphins have been recovered by marine park officers and brought to a college for badysis and examination.

“Some of these unfortunate marine mammal deaths relating to net fishing reinforce the importance of mitigating risks and ensuring ecologically sustainable fishery management arrangements are in place adjacent to and throughout the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park,” the spokesperson stated.

‘Barrier Reef wants extra net-free zones’

The gillnet deaths have outraged conservationists.

Gillnets are lengthy rectangular nets that are set horizontally alongside the ocean flooring.

WWF Australia head of oceans Richard Leck stated extra needed to be executed to stop such tragic outcomes.

“This is a really tragic incident to hear about. These snubfin dolphins are a rare Australian species they are only found in Australian waters and they’re a vulnerable species,” he stated.

Mr Leck stated many gillnet deaths weren’t reported.

“We think it’s actually the tip of the iceberg.”

He stated WWF Australia was calling for the institution of an 85,000-square-kilometre net-free zone in north Queensland.

“We’re calling for the major parties to commit to more net-free zones in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, starting with a large net free zone in the north of Queensland.”

Mr Leck additionally inspired GBRMPA to be extra clear and to maintain folks up to date on when marine mammal deaths occurred.

“We need this information to be in the public realm to inform people what’s happening and to get those best solutions to protect these very vulnerable and incredibly charismatic species into the future.”

GBRMPA stated there have been no additional investigations into the deaths as fishers adopted all reporting protocols.

It additionally stated the deaths have been reported with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and made public in annual reviews.

Topics:

marine-parks,

great-barrier-reef,

fishing-aquaculture,

environmental-impact,

townsville-4810,

rockhampton-4700,

mackay-4740,

cairns-4870

First posted

November 18, 2017 09:27:12

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