Shark attacks in Western Australia are feared to have an adverse effect on tourism. After another victim was fatally mauled by a killer shark, the state is now perceived to be the world's deadliest place for shark attacks. It may be time to reconsider the ban against fishing for the great white shark, a state Fisheries official told WA Today.
On Saturday, a great white shark in WA waters near Wedge Island has claimed the life of 24-year-old diver Ben Linden.
WA Fisheries Minister Norman Moore mourned the death, saying he was "very distressed." He noted it was the fifth death by shark attacks in WA in only 10 months.
"Five fatalities in Western Australia (in 10 months) is unprecedented and cause for great alarm," Mr Moore told reporters.
"It won't be helping our tourism industry and those people who want to come here to enjoy an ocean experience will be turned away because of this situation," he said further.
Mr Moore also said he would lobby for the federal government to allow commercial and recreational fishing of the great white sharks. He cited anecdotal evidence that the great whites have significantly increased in number since the species was declared protected in the 1990s.
Meanwhile, shark experts are advising beachgoers to remain alert and observe safety measures to avoid shark attacks.
Below are shark attack video clips recently uploaded to YouTube:
Shark expert Michael Brown tells 7News that "being aware of the conditions" should help beachgoers in managing the risk involved with sharks in the water.
In this video, which is claimed to have been taken in Western Australia and published on July 16 on YouTube, viewers see a man paddling on board as a great white shark stays close. The size of the shark is contrasted against the board, which is about 3-4 metres in length.
In this video, a great white shark is seen jumping off the waters near Mindarie in Western Australia. The video was taken in May by a group of fishermen who had caught a reef shark.
As the fishermen pulled their catch, a great white shark came and chomped on half of the reef shark, from just above its dorsal fin. The killer shark then stayed close and circled their boat. In their attempt to drive the predator away, the fishermen stuck a gaff into the killer shark. It was then that the shark jumped off the waters to shake the gaff off its body.
Here is a photo of the great white shark, which jumped off the waters when it was gaffed.