Sea Shepherd fails to halt Australia shark kill policy

Mar 06, 2014
This handout image received on February 26, 2014 and taken on February 22 by the Sea Shepherd Australia Ltd / Animal Amnesty shows a tiger shark caught off Moses Rock in Western Australia

Activist group Sea Shepherd has failed to secure an injunction to halt a controversial shark cull policy in Western Australia, it said Thursday, vowing to fight on to prevent the killings.

The group, best known for battling Japanese whalers in the Antarctic, applied for a judicial review of the decision, claiming it involves the unlawful killing of a protected species.

Their argument questioned the validity of an exemption under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act which allows the state government to kill any protected great white, tiger or bull shark bigger than three metres (10 feet) in certain zones.

But Western Australia Supreme Court Judge James Edelman ruled there was no reasonable grounds for a full hearing, and denied the request for an interim injunction to suspend 60 drum lines in place around the state coastline.

"From an ecological and public safety perspective, Sea Shepherd Australia is very concerned about these drum lines remaining off the Perth metropolitan and southwest beaches," Sea Shepherd Australia managing director Jeff Hansen said.

"Sea Shepherd Australia will continue our work to save the sharks of Western Australia, exploring all options available to us. We will not cease in our efforts until these cruel, barbaric, unsafe and environmentally unsustainable drum lines are removed permanently."

The controversial policy to catch and kill sharks off popular west coast beaches was given the green light in January after six fatal attacks in the past two years.

It aims to reduce the risks to water users and allows baited drum lines with hooks designed to capture large sharks to be set one kilometre (0.62 miles) offshore at busy Western Australian beaches for a trial period until April 30.

Any shark longer than three metres (10 feet) snagged by the lines and deemed to be a threat—including great white, bull and tiger sharks—will be destroyed.

Sixty-six sharks were caught in the first three weeks, according to the West Australian newspaper, although no great whites have been snared so far.

The cull has angered conservationists, who claim the trial flies in the face of international obligations to protect the species.

Sharks are common in Australian waters, and experts say attacks are increasing in line with population growth and the popularity of water sports.

Explore further: An elephant never forgets the way to the watering hole

Related Stories

Thousands rally against shark cull in Australia

Feb 01, 2014

Thousands of people rallied across Australia Saturday against a controversial shark culling policy designed to prevent attacks, saying killing the marine animals was the not the answer.

First shark killed in Australia cull

Jan 26, 2014

The first shark caught under a controversial new Australian culling policy aimed at reducing fatal attacks was shot dead Sunday after being snared, angering conservationists.

Australia to go ahead with shark 'kill' zones

Jan 21, 2014

A controversial policy to catch and kill sharks off popular west coast beaches got the green light in Australia, in a move the Humane Society Tuesday termed a "complete disgrace".

Explainer: Sharks—why size and species matter

Feb 13, 2014

Dozens of sharks have reportedly been caught since Western Australia's "catch-and-kill" drum line program began two weeks ago. Firm numbers are not available given the WA government's unwillingness to release ...

Recommended for you

Clues to aging from long-lived lemurs

6 hours ago

When Jonas the lemur died in January, just five months short of his thirtieth birthday, he was the oldest of his kind. A primate called a fat-tailed dwarf lemur, Jonas belonged to a long-lived clan. Dwarf ...

Cats relax to the sound of music

10 hours ago

According to research published today in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery by veterinary clinicians at the University of Lisbon and a clinic in the nearby town of Barreiro in Portugal, music is likew ...

Fruit flies crucial to basic research

12 hours ago

The world around us is full of amazing creatures. My favorite is an animal the size of a pinhead, that can fly and land on the ceiling, that stages an elaborate (if not beautiful) courtship ritual, that can ...

Crete's mystery croc killed by cold snap

12 hours ago

A man-eating crocodile that became an attraction on the Greek island of Crete last year after its mysterious appearance in a lake has died, probably of cold, an official said Monday.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Mar 06, 2014
The main thing is that they tried.. 90% of Australians don't support the cull either. But what the government wants, it gets.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.