Western Australian Government seeks extension
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 1 May, 2014 - A controversial three-month trial involving the use of baited drum lines to cull sharks off the West Australian coast ended on April 30th. However, the WA Government wants to extend the trial over the next three summers and has sought federal approval to do so.
The cull, which began late January, followed concerns over a rise in fatal shark attacks over the past 10 years. Drum lines were set off five Perth beaches and two more in the south-west, and more than 100 sharks have since been caught.
The most recent cull statistics released by the State Government on March 16 showed that 33 sharks of three metres or more in length had been destroyed, while a further 12 were found dead on the drum lines.
A number of large public rallies have been held by opponents of the policy.
Earlier this year, the activist Sea Shepherd group failed to get a Supreme Court order to stop the cull. It had argued that the catch-and-kill policy was improperly introduced. The Supreme Court ruled the introduction of the drum lines was valid.
The Government's request to extend the trial is being assessed by the federal Environment Department and also by WA's Environmental Protection Authority.