News / Asia

Australia Plans Shark Kill to Protect Swimmers

A 7.4 meter great white shark replica floats into Sydney Harbor, Nov. 26, 2013.
A 7.4 meter great white shark replica floats into Sydney Harbor, Nov. 26, 2013.
Phil Mercer
— Following the deaths of two surfers in recent weeks, authorities in Western Australia have ordered hunters to catch and kill any sharks over three meters long.

There have been six fatal shark attacks in Western Australia in the past two years.

In response, the state government is creating safety zones around beaches in the city of Perth and along popular coastal regions to the south. Authorities say that sharks spotted in the designated areas will be considered to pose an imminent threat to swimmers and surfers and will be killed.

Commercial fishermen will be hired to hunt and kill sharks bigger than three meters in the zones, while baited hook lines will catch smaller specimens.

Western Australia’s Fisheries Minister Troy Buswell says the measures will make beaches safer, and denies the moves amount to a culling of protected species.

“This response does not represent what you would call a culling of sharks," Buswell said. "It is our view that it is a targeted, hazard mitigation strategy. In other words, removing the shark hazard, or attempting to remove the shark hazard from where they present the greatest danger to the public.”

Tourism operators in Western Australia have welcomed the catch-and-kill policy. They say many visitors have decided to stay away from coastal areas in the southwestern corner of Western Australia following the most recent attack.

Surfer Chris Boyd, 35, died when he was mauled by a large shark, thought to be a great white, at Gracetown. Fellow board riders have said reducing the number of big sharks in the area would reduce the risk of further attacks.

But the Greens party has introduced a motion in the Australian Senate calling on the federal government to oppose the killing of sharks off the nation’s west coast. They argue that more research is needed before any catch-and- kill policy is implemented.

Conservationists argue that protected species, such as the great white, should not be hunted, and that swimmers and surfers should be aware that they enter the water at their own risk. 

Meanwhile, the New South Wales state government is investigating the use of drones to scan the water in an attempt to reduce shark attacks following the death of a surfer at Coffs Harbor, north of Sydney.

Zac Young, 19, died when a three-meter tiger shark attacked him.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Michelle87 from: Uk
December 18, 2013 3:04 AM
You take a risk every time you enter the ocean especially in notoriously shark infested waters of Australia , it's not right these sharks are being killed , it's a total double standard, surfers know the risk and 99.9% would be very upset with the decision, when you take out the sharks you take out the Eco system


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
December 16, 2013 12:56 AM
Lobbyists hired by tourism opperators must have done good jobs. Tourism operators are sure to withdraw their demands if they are promised to get subsidy from government. Is not there another way for them to earn their livings besides catch and kill policy?


by: qwpoerjsadnf from: earth
December 16, 2013 12:00 AM
thousand and hundred millions years ago, these coastals belong those sharks and other species, but now,our humans say: hey,these areas are belong to us. hehe...


by: Tiredofdoublestandards from: Brisbane
December 15, 2013 6:24 AM
Australia. Don't you dare criticise Japan and Norway anymore for Killing whales - you have just crossed the same line.


by: Judith from: South Africa
December 15, 2013 12:44 AM
Ironic how people can hunt and kill any animal that behaves naturally in his invaded domain. Why is it then that humans killing each other does not receive the same treatment? Why are cars not removed from the roads as accidents kill far more people than sharks ever has!! And we are supposed to be the more intelligent species!! Show me the intelligence and logic in your shark killing decision!! Idiots!!


by: BigWaveSurfer from: Pipe
December 14, 2013 6:54 PM
Humans presently murder 8000 sharks each and every hour. At this rate they could go extinct in the coming decade. With companies like http://www.sharkrepellentproducts.com that are respectful of all life, there is no excuse for justifying genocide.

In Response

by: amal from: cannes
December 15, 2013 8:01 AM
lets hope you or family won't fall victim.What is worth more human life or shark ?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid