Australia shark cull could snare more than 900

June 10, 2014
This image taken on February 22 by the Sea Shepherd Australia Ltd shows a tiger shark caught off Moses Rock in Western Australia

Australia's controversial shark cull could snare more than 900 animals over the next three years, a government review found, angering critics who said Tuesday most were caught needlessly.

Western Australia state has applied to national authorities to extend the policy designed to protect swimmers, under which sharks are captured using bait, and then killed if they are a threatening size.

It is not known how many of those captured will be destroyed, but in the three-month trial begun in January most animals were tagged and released.

Under the new proposal, released to the public by the state's Environmental Protection Authority on Monday, 72 baited hooks attached to floating drums will be put in place between November and April until 2017.

Most will be set one kilometre (around half a mile) offshore at the busiest beaches, with 12 kept in reserve when more lines are needed during a or threat.

"The deployment of drum lines is the most recent shark hazard mitigation measure to be considered by the government... to address the safety of water users," the state government said.

But the prospect of continued drum lines has angered conservationists who say it flies in the face of international obligations to protect the great white shark.

State opposition fisheries spokesman Dave Kelly told AFP the drum lines were also snaring tiger sharks, which were not responsible for the attacks.

About 900 tiger sharks and 25 great white sharks are projected to be caught during the cull. The drum lines will be taken down between May 1 and November 14 each year to avoid the annual migration of whales along Western Australia's coast.

"No one believes that tiger sharks have been responsible for the recent attacks here in Western Australia, so why target a species like when that's not going to have any impact on beach safety," Kelly said.

"The species that people think are responsible for most of the attacks are obviously great white sharks. If the (policy) is going to have minimal, if any, impact on numbers, that just begs the question—why do it?"

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

There have been 170 fatal attacks in the last 100 years in Australia, according to the national Shark Attack File based at Sydney's Taronga Zoo.

Explore further: Western Australia implements shark 'bait and kill' zones

Related Stories

Australia to go ahead with shark 'kill' zones

January 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".

First shark killed in Australia cull

January 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.

Thousands rally against shark cull in Australia

February 1, 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.

Recommended for you

Genomes uncover life's early history

August 24, 2015

A University of Manchester scientist is part of a team which has carried out one of the biggest ever analyses of genomes on life of all forms.

Rare nautilus sighted for the first time in three decades

August 25, 2015

In early August, biologist Peter Ward returned from the South Pacific with news that he encountered an old friend, one he hadn't seen in over three decades. The University of Washington professor had seen what he considers ...

Why a mutant rice called Big Grain1 yields such big grains

August 24, 2015

(Phys.org)—Rice is one of the most important staple crops grown by humans—very possibly the most important in history. With 4.3 billion inhabitants, Asia is home to 60 percent of the world's population, so it's unsurprising ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

chrisn566
not rated yet Jun 10, 2014
Yes,because the seas obviously should be the domain of humans! Oh,wait....

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.