Sharks lives are being shortened in Western Australia since the shark culling policy has been reinstated. The first shark was shot on Saturday near Old Dunsbororugh; the shark was a three-feet or 10 meter long tiger shark. The policy was reinstated because Greg Hunt, the federal environmental minister, allowed Western Australia to be exempt from the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act; this exemption allows the state to kill sharks.
Western Australia also reinstated the program to reduce the amount of shark attacks; sharks in Western Australia have killed seven people over the last three years. Colin Barnett, Western Australia’s Premier, said in a press conference that even though he doesn’t enjoy seeing sharks being killed but that he is responsible for protecting people and that is what he is trying to do with the policy. The policy itself involves placing barriers one kilometer off the coast of Perth and the south west; the barriers are chains that have bait attached to a buoy and an anchor that sinks to the bottom of the ocean; these barriers are often called drum lines. The drum lines will stay in the above locations until the end of April. The barriers will then be moved to Gracetown where a surfer was the seventh person last year to be killed by a shark.
The policy that is shortening shark’s lives in Western Australia only allows the killing of great white, bull, and tiger sharks that are longer than 3 meters in length. Animal rights activists have since removed the bait and a spokesperson for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said that there is no scientific evidence that proves slaughtering sharks is the answer for shark attacks. They explained that many marine experts do not approve of this plan and that more than 100 species of sharks inhabit Western Australia; they also said sharks play an important role in oceans. Despite the backlash from animal rights groups, one group in Western Australia is using a safer method to reduce shark attacks.
The Western Australia Department of Fisheries is creating a new tagging system that is connected to satellites as part of their research and protection program. According to Mark Kleeman, the Shark Monitoring Network Project Manager, the new monitors will be placed near the Busselton Jetty will let beach safety authorities know about sharks near by using alerts that are sent in real-time. Kleeman explains that these monitors are meant to improve safety at beaches in Western Australia and will help scientists understand sharks movements through Western Australia’s oceans. The group is currently using 320 monitors on the ocean floor on the South and West coasts that also monitor sharks movements.
Sharks lives are being shortened in Western Australia after the state was exempt from the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. The exemption allows drum lines to be used to kill certain species of sharks in order to decrease shark attacks. The Western Australia Department of Fisheries is using two different monitors to track shark’s movements and keep beaches in Western Australia safe. No matter what method is used, Western Australia is trying to keep its patrons safe.
By Jordan Bonte