People, Environment

WWF Buys Shark License, Scraps It

WWF Buys Shark License, Scraps ItWWF Buys Shark License, Scraps It

Conservation group WWF Australia has bought a commercial shark fishing license in an unusual move to protect the predators in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and beyond. Conservation Director Gilly Llewellyn said the license cost $100,000, which includes a 1.2-kilometer net, ABC Online reported. “We’re going to take it out of the water and make sure it doesn’t go fishing,” she said. “Hammerhead sharks are literally getting hammered out there. We have a chance to ... help save some of those sharks. This will also prevent dugongs, turtles and dolphins being killed as by-catch, and help the reef heal after the worst coral bleaching in its history.” The commercial shark catch on the Great Barrier Reef spiked from 222 tons in 2014 to 402 tons in 2015, Queensland Government figures showed. Llewellyn said that equated to 100,000 sharks last year. The Federal Government has been considering whether to list some types of hammerheads as threatened species, which Llewellyn said was needed urgently. “This is a shot across the bow to the management authorities and to the Australian government that we believe they should be protected,” she said.