In a move which is in direct contrast to the trial of non-lethal alternatives to shark hazards on the New South Wales coast, the Western Australian Government has today reaffirmed its support of catching and killing sharks which pose a “serious threat.”
The announcement formed part of a $1.54m budget for shark hazard mitigation and continues to anger conservationists and the community, which came out in their tens of thousands to oppose lethal drum lines off Western Australia’s coastline.
Natalie Banks, National Shark Campaign Coordinator for Sea Shepherd Australia is extremely disappointed by the announcement, stating that the WA Government has today reaffirmed its contempt for sharks.
“There is no reason whatsoever to kill a shark off our coast; if it is deemed a serious threat, then the issue of shark hazard mitigation can quite easily be instigated by clearing the beach for the time the shark is in the area,” Ms Banks said.
“The serious threat policy deploys drum lines and measures which were vehemently opposed by the community and in particular the Environmental Protection Authority as a solution to shark bites and there is no way it should be used even as a temporary measure.
Sea Shepherd Australia, through its Apex Harmony campaign is committed to the introduction of non-lethal alternatives to shark bite mitigation and points to the fact that shark culling, has no scientific evidence of working to reduce unwanted shark encounters.
“Shark culling was undertaken in Hawaii for more than 17 years, whereby over 4,500 sharks were caught and killed, with no reduction in shark bites whatsoever,” Ms Banks said.
“It is time that the Western Australian Government stopped this barbaric practise, which has no scientific evidence of working, and redirected funds into new technologies which provide increased safety for beach goers and not just a false sense of security.”
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