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Photos reveal large numbers of marine life killed by Gillnets

April 27, 2023 8:07 am in by
Image supplied by AMCS.

There is renewed calls for the state government to ban gillnet fishing in the Great Barrier Reef.

It comes after photos have emerged, reportedly showing large numbers of endangered animals like sawfish killed in the nets.

The photos, from a 10km stretch of beach at the mouth of the Burdekin River, were taken by locals concerned at the amount of dead wildlife washing up following gillnet fishing in the area.

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Gillnets are large fishing nets used to catch species such as barramundi and mackerel.

There are currently 240 licensed gillnet fishers in Queensland, using 159km of gillnet, further than from Brisbane to Noosa.

Simon Miller from AMCS says the photos show the impact the nets have on local marine life.

“Gillnets are indiscriminate killers, which can capture and drown iconic threatened species such as dugongs in minutes. Fishing practices on our Reef must be gold standard, but these photos show the reality is far from it,” he says.

“The Queensland Government cannot keep turning a blind eye to these deaths. It must permanently end gillnet fishing in Great Barrier Reef waters, as recommended by the World Heritage Committee’s scientific advisers, UNESECO and the IUCN, in last year’s Reactive Monitoring Mission report that highlighted the need to take urgent additional actions to conserve the Reef for future generations.”

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