Shark Fin Fishing on the Great Barrier Reef

This campaign asks supporters to donate to support the campaign to stop a shark fishery proposed for Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Revoke this proposal and commit to a program with fishers to save sharks, not hunt them


Shark Fishery proposed for Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
An alarming new proposal by the Queensland Government will establish a dedicated shark fishery in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area which will service the international trade in shark fin. The Australian Marine Conservation Society (and anyone who cares for our oceans) is astonished by this proposal, in which Queensland’s fisheries department (DPI&F) plans to legitimise one of the most unsustainable forms of fishing on the planet – shark fin fishing. With over 90% of the world’s sharks and other big fish gone from our oceans, this project is unsustainable, unethical and will be flatly rejected by the Australian public.

Scalloped Hammerhead Shark
Not only is the Queensland Government proposing to hand out specific fishing licenses for shark fin fishing, which will entrench the practice for years, they are planning to legitimise shark fishing in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and in the Marine Parks of Moreton Bay and the Great Sandy Straits with this new license proposal. You can help stop this madness by clicking here. The proposal will create new licenses to fishers to catch up to 700 tonnes of sharks each year and also to catch sharks with nets over a kilometre long in our off-shore waters.
Take Action…
Is it Finning?
Shark finning at sea, where the fins are cut off the shark and the carcass is thrown overboard, is banned in Australia (thanks to AMCS). However, shark fin fishing continues. Sharks are still being targeted for their high value fins although their carcasses are now kept and sold on the domestic market as ‘flake’ or sold as low value waste products. AMCS has pressed DPI&F to phase out shark fishing and they have failed to do so. What does it say for the sustainability agenda of this agency when it fails not only to protect one of the state’s most vulnerable group of species, but promotes their exploitation? During 2000-2004 shark fishing in Queensland increased four-fold with a massive 1240 tonnes of shark being landed in 2004*. The main pressure on sharks in the Great Barrier Reef is fishing, and this pressure is increasing. More than 90% of the Great Barrier Reef commercial shark harvest is taken by the gillnet fishery with the remainder taken by the line and trawl fisheries. However recreational fishers catch and retain a significant number of sharks.

Our Sharks are Precious
Sharks are extremely vulnerable to fishing impacts. This is because their biology is more like whales and dolphins than other fish. Sharks are slow growing, have extremely low reproductive rates (producing very few young) and are mostly long lived. This means that they are very slow to recover from impacts on their populations. Many shark fisheries around the world have collapsed. Sharks are apex predators, helping to control populations of prey species. Consequently, reducing the number of sharks may have significant and unpredictable impacts on other parts of the ecosystem. The Queensland Government must revoke this proposal and commit to a program with fishers to save sharks, not hunt them. We urge anyone who treasures Queensland’s sharks to have their say on this matter. Send your letter today…
Help stop shark fishing by donating to the campaign today.

*DPI&F Strategic Fisheries Report. This figure does not include discards of sharks or cryptic mortality of sharks and rays (killed by fishing gear but not seen or recorded by fishers).
AMCS Ocean Activists will receive email updates about this issue. If you are not yet an Ocean Activist please join up via our website
Take Action
 More on Sharkwater the movie
 Sharks and Rays Fact Sheet
 Art for Sharks Charity Art Auction.

Learn: Shark fishery currently proposed for Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Donate: Make a donation to this important campaign and help stop shark fishing on the Great Barrier Reef.
Take Action: Send a letter of objection to the relevant Minister and make your feelings known.

Note: This descriptive text was copied from the Campaign's website. Some website links may no longer be active.

Campaign Details

Group Leading this Campaign: Australian Marine Conservation Society

Main Issue of the Campaign:

Campaign Ran From: 2008 to 2008

Campaign Outcome:

Year Outcome Assessed:

Geographic Range of Activity:


Shark Fin Fishing on the Great Barrier Reef