Yvonne Miles, Marine Biologist, working in Hervey Bay.
Yvonne Miles, Marine Biologist, working in Hervey Bay.

Marine biologist: Killing sharks not the solution

A HERVEY BAY marine biologist with more than 30 years experience has labelled MP Keith's Pitt shark cull call an uneducated "knee jerk reaction".

Yvonne Miles admitted while the bay had a large amount of sharks present the onus was on humans to learn their behaviours and avoid swimming during feeding times at dawn or dusk. "We need sharks, our ecosystem is dependant on sharks and if we don't have them then the whole system is out of balance," she said.

"Mr Pitt is basing this purely off the fishing industry, when he is talking about shark culling and the money to be made selling them."

Ms Miles said that sharks were an important part of "cleaning up the ocean" with natural selection.

"They take out the old and the weak, stop carcasses washing up ashore and eat things like whale placentas which would otherwise float in the ocean," she said.

"I spoke to some local fisherman who said their biggest problem was recreational fishers pulling up fish and then taking a picture and letting them go.

"You might think you are doing the right thing but they are dazed when they hit the water making them an easy target for sharks so they follow the boats."