I listened to an interesting program on the radio this week about the Western Australia’s Department of Fisheries’ infamous shark cull program. The mitigation program ended on April 30 and they are planning to resume from November 23rd, to coincide with popular swimming season.
What sparked the implementation of the mitigation program? There had been a recent apparent increase in shark attacks on swimmers/divers by the great white sharks. But how do you kill such sharks are a protected species worldwide (including all other states in Australia)? The Minister of Fisheries sought exemption, based on the premise that they are a danger to society. The mitigation program involved putting out boats and jet skis, and helicopter surveillance at the popular swimming spots. Additionally, baited drum lines are placed approximately 1km from the shores in these areas to capture sharks that pose imminent danger to humans. These drum lines were checked from sunrise to sun down. They would release any fish caught that are less than 3m, and kill any larger than 3m.
So, has it been a success? According to reports, 172 sharks were caught, the majority being tiger sharks. None were the great whites.
So, I ask again, has it been a success? Should it be repeated?