Marine researchers inadvertently captured this fever of cownose rays.
Marine researchers inadvertently captured this fever of cownose rays. Bill North

REVEALED: What else are Mackay's shark nets catching

CROCODILES and manta rays are just two of the species being caught in Mackay's shark control nets and drum lines.

But it's the cownose ray that is the most prevalent species caught up in the Queensland Government's shark control program off Mackay.

Dozens of the rays have been netted in the past five years; most survive and are released.

Queensland's shark control program makes headlines when species such as dolphins, whales and sea turtles become entangled in the nets.

While no whales have been stuck in Mackay's nets, North Stradbroke and Gold Coast control nets have caught 21 humpback whales. The largest was 23m.

Crocodiles are the largest species found in Mackay's shark control nets. One, in 2016, measured 2.93m while another, in 2012, was 3.3m long. Both were netted off Harbour Beach.

Humane Society International attacked the decisions of Queensland Department of Agriculture in March 2017 to continue its shark control program in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

"The loggerhead turtle is at risk of becoming critically endangered and is still being caught and killed on drumlines within the Great Barrier Reef, despite the Commonwealth Recovery Team stating that its mortality on these devices should be zero," HSI Australia head of campaigns Nicola Beynon said.

No loggerhead turtles have been caught in Mackay's program in the past five years.

The shark control program in Queensland costs $3million per annum and takes place near 85 popular beaches along the Queensland coast, including 27 beaches located in the marine parks.

Whilst the approval was given along with suggested measures to reduce non-target catch, HSI is warning the authority that the use of drumlines will continue to have a lethal impact on threatened species.

2016

  • 02/02 Crocodile (2.93m) - Harbour Beach (net)
  • 13/08 Shovelnose Ray (1m) - Eimeo Beach (drum)

2015

  • 25/01 Eagle Ray (1m) - Harbour Beach (net)
  • 13/07 Shovelnose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach (net)
  • 29/08 Indopac HB Dolphin (2.1m) - Harbour Beach (net)
  • 08/09 Shovelnose Ray (2,4m) - Blacks Beach (drum)

2014

  • 01/05 Shovelnose Ray (1m) - Eimeo Beach
  • 07/05 Shovelnose Ray (2m) - Eimeo Beach
  • 26/05 Shovelnose Ray (2m) - Harbour Beach
  • 27/05 Shovelnose Ray (2.2m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 10/08 Cownose Ray (1m) - Eimeo Beach
  • 10/08 Cownose Ray (1m) - Eimeo Beach
  • 10/08 Cownose Ray (1m) - Eimeo Beach
  • 28/09 Manta Ray (1.8m) - Harbour Beach
  • 21/11 Cownose Ray (1m) - Harbour Beach
  • 21/11 Cownose Ray (1m) - Harbour Beach

2013

  • 14/06 Cownose Ray (?) - Bucasia Beach
  • 24/06 Shovelnose Ray (?) - Harbour Beach
  • 03/08 Cownose Ray (?) - Eimeo Beach
  • 03/08 Cownose Ray (?) - Eimeo Beach
  • 03/08 Cownose Ray (?) - Eimeo Beach
  • 23/08 Cownose Ray (?) - Bucasia Beach
  • 21/09 Cownose Ray (1m) - Eimeo Beach
  • 29/09 Manta Ray (2.4m) - Harbour Beach
  • 29/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 31/10 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 03/11 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 03/11 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 03/11 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 03/11 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 03/11 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 03/11 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 03/11 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 09/11 Cownose Ray (1m) - Bucasia Beach
  • 21/12 Green turtle (0.61m) - Harbour Beach

2012

  • 06/01 Cownose Ray (?) - Harbour Beach
  • 06/01 Cownose Ray (?) - Harbour Beach
  • 14/09 Cownose Ray (?) - Bucasia Beach
  • 28/09 Green Turtle (?) - Bucasia Beach
  • 15/10 Cownose Ray (?) - Bucasia Beach
  • 20/10 Crocodile (3.3m) - Harbour Beach
  • 16/12 Cownose Ray (?) - Harbour Beach

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