SPCA advocates for non-lethal methods of shark attack prevention, for example, patrols and surveillance, and educational programmes on shark awareness. SPCA opposes the culling of sharks, i.e., the baiting and killing of sharks, to reduce shark attacks.
Methods of culling, such as drumlines with baited hooks, can cause unnecessary pain and suffering to sharks that remain on the drumline for extended periods of time before being killed. Non-target species, such as dolphins and seals, are also at risk of being caught on the hooks and suffering injures and death.
SPCA opposes the use of shark nets for beach protection.
Shark nets can result in indiscriminate trapping and death of aquatic animals, such as marine mammals, sharks, turtles, and rays.
SPCA opposes the practice of shark finning and advocates for greater transparency and enforcement of the current ban on shark finning.
Where sharks are caught, they should be humanely killed and brought to shore whole, with their fins naturally attached. This approach reinforces laws against live finning and encourages long-term sustainable fishing.
The practice of cutting the fins off live sharks and throwing the sharks back into the sea is inhumane and illegal in New Zealand. Sharks who have their dorsal fins removed have no chance of survival and may starve to death, be preyed upon by other fish, or drown. As well as the obvious welfare issues, our organisation is concerned that the indiscriminate killing of such huge numbers of sharks may negatively impact the ecosystem.
SPCA is concerned with the current transparency and reliability of fisheries reporting and the low level of on-board observer coverage.