Sea Shepherd Australia’s Managing Director Jeff Hansen stated, “Sea Shepherd would like to congratulate the WA Labor Government for striving for shark mitigation strategies that actually save lives, like the shark shield subsidy, however we are expressing concern here over the rolling out of smart drum lines, as a means to beach public safety. There is the concern of baited hooks close to surf breaks, that draw sharks in, and we also know there have been fatalities at beaches with conventional drum lines and we have also witnessed sharks swimming straight past even the smart drum lines, so they should not be relied upon for public safety.”
Mr Hansen said “Smart drum lines should be used as a means for scientific purposes and not public safety as there is a mentality on the east coast to put out hundreds of these devices along the coast, which is expensive and response times of under 30 mins over a vast stretch of coastline would be impossible, thereby negating them as being so called non-lethal devices. Then there is the reliance on conditions being conducive to removing or de-baiting them at night time. It is a real shame that the WA Government have to conduct their own trial due to the fact that that the NSW Government has not been forthcoming with trial data, and merely playing politics.”
“Previous surveys have shown that 80% of Western Australians believe that mitigating shark risk should be up to the individual and not the government. Sea Shepherd finds it absurd that we are trying to control a natural, random and wild environment, when so much more can be done by humans to mitigate our own risk, like whale carcass management, better signing and understanding more what is happening in our natural marine environments. Its seems sometimes, politicians and right wing papers are ether simply playing politics or trying to mitigate against peoples poor ocean use decisions, which is impossible to mitigate,” concluded Mr Hansen.