Specifically, the Tribunal discovered that killing sharks does not mitigate the risk of unprovoked shark interactions.

The Tribunal has ordered that the list of 19 target species be ripped up and that sharks can no longer be killed by gunshot in the name of bather protection.

In addition, the ruling applies to killing sharks by gunshot, and presents new ways on how drumlines are managed.


Concerning the drumlines, the Tribunal commanded that they should be more frequently checked, preferably within 24 hours, and that any sharks found alive on a drumline be released.

In addition, based on the evidence presented, the Tribunal concluded that the tiger shark has undergone a significant reduction in its population in the Great Barrier Reef. Therefore, they ordered that tiger, bull and white sharks shall be tagged prior to being released alive offshore.

Smart drumlines are to be trialed and implemented in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park as soon as reasonably possible and non-lethal alternatives to drumlines must be researched.

Since July 2016, at least 432 animals drowned on lethal drumlines within the Great Barrier Reef and at least 91 sharks were found alive and then shot dead by a contractor employed by the Queensland Government.

The Queensland government has long been negatively criticised for using what Humane Society International says are out-dated, cruel and ineffective shark control measures which kill non-target species.

Concluding, in light of the court's decision in favour of sharks, Lawrence Chlebeck, Marine Campaigner at HSI noted

This is a massive victory for sharks and marine wildlife. Humane Society International is extremely grateful to have been represented in court by the Environmental Defenders Office NSW and barristers Saul Holt QC and Natasha Hammond, and generously supported by the Shark Conservation Fund.