Caught in the Net By Jonathan Rigg

Caught in the net

The past month has seen a baby dolphin and 3 young whales caught in shark nets off the coast of Queensland. The dolphin was critically injured with a drumline hook through its side, while the two whales were released from the net one drowned. There has been a lot of media attention lately on the drumlines in Western Australia, but often the situation is neglected. Despite the fact that there are more drumlines in Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast alone than in the whole of Western Australia. We’ve been culling sharks in my home state of NSW since the 1930s, and still kill thousands of animals every year in our shark nets.

How do the shark nets work?

The nets are NOT a barricade, and don’t prevent sharks from getting near the beach. They are simply in place to entangle and kill animals that are passing by. They are 150m wide, and 6m tall and usually set in about 10m of water – allowing sharks to swim over and around. In NSW they are only in the water for 8 months of the year, and only 14 days in each month – so a lot of the time they’re not even in place which defeats the purpose of them.

Are they protecting people?

No. There are no statistics showing that the nets make our oceans and beaches any safer. In fact a 2009 government report stated that ‘the annual rate of attack was the same both before and after meshing commenced’. While the number of shark fatalities has decreased since the nets were put in the water, this is due to improved medical assistance and not because of the nets being in place.

Are they harming wildlife and ecosystems?

Yes. Over 15,000 animals have been killed by these nets in NSW, this includes about 100 species such as endangered animals like turtles, dolphins, dugongs. The nets have even killed orcas, whales, little penguins and people. That’s right, shark nets have killed 2 people. Last year a baby humpback drowned on the gold coast from being caught in


What did I do well?

I think I used photo shop well when I was making my poster, by putting in a lot of time and effort I was really happy with the end result. I also think I did quite well in my newspaper article because I also put a lot of time and effort into it and I was really happy with the end result. In my poster there are a lot of emotional statements and statistics to show how much trouble the nets are causing.

What would I do differently if I had the task to do again?

I would start my assignment earlier and make sure I had plenty of time to work on my adobe spark page and my thinglink as they take a lot of time to complete. I would also make sure that I did more research so that I didn’t have to spend so much time on my article. Although I think I had great time management.

What help did I need?

I didn’t need too much help but I did need a little bit on my adobe spark presentation and my thinglink because I couldn’t login and I had a bit of trouble putting my adobe spark presentation together. Overall I was pretty independent in creating my English assignment.

The main thing about the art of persuasion that I have learned from this task is:

I have learnt that persuasion plays a really big part in everyday life and that we have been persuading people like our parents from the day we learnt to talk. Persuasion is an art that everyone is capable of learning, it is used in ads, newspapers, posters and even in the government when a team is trying to pass a bill.

Thankyou for listening

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