AMCS would like to acknowledge Chantelle Doyle as a true champion of shark conservation. Chantelle was recently bitten on the leg by a juvenile white shark on the NSW north coast while surfing with her fiance, Mark.
Chantelle’s fiance Mark fought off the shark and she is now recovering in hospital. Chantelle has told us that she wanted this incident to highlight the plight of sharks throughout our oceans, which are both critical to healthy ocean ecosystems, and threatened as a group of species. Chantelle wants us all to be #PunchingForHealthyOceans.
Twitter is not normally personal but this is important.
Last Saturday we had close shark encounter. Many people wanted to help, but at the moment we are all fairly powerless. We set up #PunchingForHealthyOceans with @AustMarConsSoc instead. https://t.co/nXVgP6VQ9g pic.twitter.com/TPIewTTrYH
— Chon Doyle (@saltandbrine) August 21, 2020
Why are sharks threatened?
Globally, a third of all shark and ray species face the threat of extinction from overfishing. One quarter of the world’s sharks and rays live in Australia’s oceans. Half of our 322 species are endemic, which means you won’t find them anywhere else in the world.
Australia’s oceans are a life-boat for the world’s sharks and rays. While we manage them better than most countries, we still have a long way to go to improve their outlook.
Alarmingly, it’s still legal in Australia to harvest the critically endangered scalloped hammerhead shark. They’re caught in our World Heritage Great Barrier Reef using nets over 1.2km long that also drown turtles, dolphins and dugongs. Critically endangered school sharks have declined by around 90% but they can still be sold as ‘flake’ in a local fish and chip shop.
Australia’s rays also face an uphill battle against the threat of overfishing and habitat destruction. Northern Australia is home to 4 of the world’s 5 species of sawfish, and this region is globally recognised as one of the last places on earth where these species have a chance of beating extinction.
Sharks keep our ocean ecosystems in the balance. They’re critical for healthy oceans.
Together, with your support, we can save our sharks and rays if we act now. Although we may be their biggest threat, we are their only hope.
How can you get involved?
Become a Shark Champion today! Find out more by heading to www.sharkchampions.org.au
Our “Shark Champions” campaign, in collaboration with Humane Society International, is a national campaign fighting to reduce the numbers of sharks killed in Australian fisheries, to ensure species most at risk of extinction are protected by national environment laws, and to end Australia’s shameful shark culling.