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.

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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 ?

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