Black marlin caught in shark nets off Durban
Caught in the shark nets. It happens all the time. Dolphins. Whales. Turtles. Even huge kob and couta. Fall victim to the indiscriminate slaughter with gill nets. Randomly executed by the Kwazulu Natal Sharks Board.
And this beautiful young black marlin is also now dead too. All for what? There are so many practical measures you can put in to effect, other than gill netting, to curb shark/human interactions. If you look closely, there is a bite mark amidships the marlin’s body. This is how more and more animals get caught up and die. Feeding on fish already trapped in the suffocating nets. These nets kill thousands each year. Meshed by professional crews with top notch killing equipment. Always with new boats, outboards and land cruisers. Petrol. In 1990, these guys had 44.4 km of gillnets covering 14% of the 326km coastline, between Richards Bay and Mzamba. Can you believe that?
Their annual average catch between 2009 and 2014 was a good 441 sharks killed per year. They kill an average of 26 Great Whites. And it’s very difficult to find out how many dolphins and other cetaceans are killed. Turtles. Fish…
And there are a host of players out there nowadays, selling all sorts of technological solutions, that can be applied at any beach. Any surf spot. At a fraction of the cost.
For many years, we have campaigned against shark nets. And there was light at the end of the tunnel with shark POD technology developed in co-operation with the bungling Natal Sharks Board. They stopped the distribution under their own directive in 2001. And stuck with the murderous gill nets.
Here is a list of the shark protection devices, that cost a marginal tiny amount of what it costs to kill sharks at a beach for one year. The beaches could ALL be equipped with these devices, and even given out freely for the public to use (with an ID Card of course). Or even rented. The money that the bloated Natal Sharks Board and the failing Ezimvelo uses, could absorb these costs from savings by pulling out the nets and meshing teams.
And a very cool video showing the results of extensive testing done with the infamous Great White Shark…by Shark Shield. It CLEARLY is the way to go.
There are many more products now using the exact same principles and technology that the Natal Parks Board could have harnessed all those years ago. There have been many attacks in this time. That, if they could have been avoided by implementing these breakthrough technologies, are squarely the fault of the Natal Sharks Board.
Sonar instead of shark nets
Then when we realised the beaurocratic mess the board was tied up in, we tried to help. We proposed rigging beaches with off the shelf sonar equipment rather. Fish finders. Feed this data back to a control station, and we can eliminate human shark encounters by monitoring for big animals and alerting the bather public with flag signals and alarms. It never went forward like the rest of the world did. They had this information more than a decade back and refused to use it.
Enter the Clever Buoy. Here is a special device that uses sonar technology and can easily detect sharks in order to operate early warning systems. The system is already deployed extensively and is a proven way to protect humans and sharks at the same time.
We presented the exact technology to the Natal Sharks Board over a decade ago. Extensive research and presentations. Went through many unfruitful meetings. Were eventually sidelined. And this technology too was lost to the Australians.
The latest chapter in the future of our marine life is that the KZN clown show are attempting to marry the two failing organisations – the Natal Parks Board, and Ezimvelo. The scandals within Ezimvelo are enough to run a soap opera with. And the fact that the abominable Natal Sharks Board, an illegal organisation that operates exactly like a fishery, gill nets, licenses, and all, is beyond me. Wood for the trees. But they also can’t keep up with their expenses.
Now we have DAFF taking Ezimvelos job too. The main players in the debacle are 1. the KZN Government to start with, 2. the Government Department doing the job of the 3. Government Organisation that is supposed to protect the sharks and the 4. Government Organisation that is supposed to kill the very same sharks – all in the same series!
Stay on this channel!
More articles with more facts about the Kwazulu Natal Sharks Board and their R60 million or more budget are right here…