Of 172 sharks caught, only 50 were designated "kill length"
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 17 June, 2014 - The program to catch and kill sharks off Western Australia's coast needs to run for at least three years before it can be accurately judged, the Premier says. Colin Barnett insisted a report released on Tuesday about the government's $1.28 million trial last summer dismissed concerns it harmed the environment.
But he conceded the 14-week trial that ran from January to April did not run for long enough for it to be properly assessed. The report recommends extending the program for another three years, running between 15 November and 30 April.
Many tiger sharks were caught and killed during the trial, but no great whites were captured. And of the 172 sharks caught during the trial, only 50 were over the designated three-metre kill length. "I've got no doubt in my mind this program has increased public safety on our beaches," Mr Barnett said. "I think over a year you would expect some great whites would be caught and that would be in the earlier part of the summer."
Fisheries opposition spokesman Dave Kelly said the government's report showed its own policy was a "unpopular, disorganised, expensive and ineffective".
"Every (fatal) shark attack in WA in the last 10 years is believed to be ... from a great white shark," Mr Kelly said. "You can't say you're responding to the spate of fatal shark attacks seen here in WA if you're not catching the shark everybody believes is responsible."