Highly controversial "catch and kill" plan exempt from enviro law
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 7 October, 2014 - A debate over Western Australia's highly controversial "catch and kill" plan to cull sharks resurfaced after fisheries officers leaked pictures of the two great whites killed in response to last week's shark attack on 23-year-old Bunbury-man Sean Pollard.
The attack comes close on the heels of a recommendation from Western Australia's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the state government to scrap plans for a three-year program using hooks on baited drum lines to snare great white, tiger or bull sharks that are longer than three metres. The recommendation followed a Public Environmental Review, including thousands of public submissions and two major petitions.
Until now, the government and its advisers had intended to press ahead with the plan, with Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt having exempted the shark cull from national environment laws. This led to a $1.3 million trial, during which baited lines were placed one kilometre from the shore in the state's south-west and off Perth beaches. During the widely opposed 13-week trial, from January to April this year, more than 170 sharks were caught, many being shot.