WA hooks in to shark cull for safety
In Western Australia, peoples’ right to swim in the ocean has trumped sharks’ right to live.
There has been outrage over a Western Australian government announcement that it would allow a catch-and-kill approach to its shark population, following concerns from those who swim in known shark habitats.
The WA Government will use baited drum lines to catch sharks on floating hooks. It will also create two monitored zones in popular swimming areas, wherein commercial fishers will be hired to catch and kill sharks longer than three metres.
Tourism operators are thrilled by the move, many residents are not.
“It was hurting our lifestyle, killing our tourism industry. And what people don't really realise is we've been wiping hundreds of millions off our tourism industry,” said the owner of a surf school at Redgate Beach.
“I think over a period of time hopefully these fatal attacks lessen and this will become a distant memory and it'll be business as normal for our tourism industry.”
One resident who lives and surfs at Perth's City Beach says she knows the risk of entering shark habitats.
“I'm going into their home and I know that I would never want to kill them for it,” she said.
“I'm always aware of them... that's the risk you take when you go in the water. You know that's their home and you can't take that away from them.”
Meanwhile in New South Wales, the State Government is having a look at the idea of using flying drones to scan the ocean for shark activity.
It is hoped this may help develop an early warning system, possibly even an automated one, which would reduce the need to destroy or remove sharks from areas simply because people like to swim there.