Gear selectivity of large-mesh nets and drumlines used to catch sharks in the Queensland Shark Control Program

  • Published source details Sumpton W.D., Taylor S.M., Gribble N.A., McPherson G. & Ham T. (2011) Gear selectivity of large-mesh nets and drumlines used to catch sharks in the Queensland Shark Control Program. African Journal of Marine Science, 33, 37-43.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use baited lines instead of nets for shark control

Action Link
Marine and Freshwater Mammal Conservation
  1. Use baited lines instead of nets for shark control

    A site comparison study in 1992–2008 at three coastal sites in the South Pacific Ocean, Queensland, Australia (Sumpton et al. 2011) found that baited lines used for shark control had fewer entanglements of four dolphin species, humpback whales Megaptera novaeangliae and dugongs Dugong dugon than nets, and survival of entangled dolphins was higher on baited lines.  Overall, baited lines had fewer entanglements than nets of common dolphins Delphinus delphis (5 vs 74 respectively), bottlenose dolphins Tursiops spp. (6 vs 26), Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins Sousa chinensis (0 vs 12), spinner dolphins Stenella longirostris (0 vs 12), humpback whales (0 vs 26) and dugongs (0 vs 9). Survival of entangled common and bottlenose dolphins was higher on baited lines (both 100%) than in nets (common: 5%; bottlenose: 8%). Catch rates and survival of target sharks on baited lines and in nets differed between species (see original paper for details). At each of three locations, 9–35 baited ‘drum’ lines (single lines suspended beneath a buoy with a baited shark hook) and 3–11 shark-control nets (186 m long x 6 m deep, 50 cm stretched mesh size) were deployed to protect beaches. All lines and nets were deployed parallel to the shore in water 6–12 m deep. Fishers checked and re-baited the 56 lines and 17 nets during 15–20 days/month in 1992–2008.

    (Summarised by: Anna Berthinussen)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 20

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust