Archive for 10/16/2011

NT News –

Crocodiles, sharks, turtles, dugongs and fish are among the victims of deadly ghost nets like this half-tonne killer found snagged on a reef at the Cobourg Peninsula.

The 500kg loose fishing net was retrieved from a reef 50m off Smith Point by NT Parks and Wildlife rangers, last week.

GhostNets Australia project officer Grace Heathcoat gave an update on the floating menace in Darwin at the Territory Natural Resource Management and Landcare forum, revealing 1042 nets had been found in Territory waters this year alone.

Local fishermen are not believed to be at fault as 90 per cent of ghost nets come from international waters.

“Ghost nets don’t just kill marine creatures, if they settle on a coral reef they can smother the coral and can be a safety hazard for boats,” she said.

Full story…


Nick Dalton – 

Sharks are worth more alive than dead. That’s according to a report which has found the live-aboard dive sector is worth at least $16 million a year in the Far North, with shark sightings rated the highest experience among divers.

The dive industry is backing the report showing the high economic value of sharks and is calling for their greater protection.

One operator, Passions of Paradise, is providing research grants to university students to study sharks.

A James Cook University study by Dr Alastair Birtles and his team of five found that live-aboard divers travelling to the Reef valued shark sightings more highly than other wildlife.

“While tourists travelling to different parts of the Reef, or on other kinds of trips, might feel slightly differently, sharks are obviously important to this industry sector,” team member Natalie Stoeckl said.

She said the elite divers were willing to pay more for a “guaranteed” shark sighting than they would be for a “guaranteed” sighting of large fish, marine turtles or a wide variety of wildlife.

Full story…