Shark Culling to Proceed as Western Australia Sets Up Shark Lines in Time for Australia Day

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By Reissa Su | January 24, 2014 5:56 PM EST

After the federal government exempt of Western Australia from environmental laws, drumlines are set to appear along the state's coastline to catch and kill large sharks. According to reports, the private contractor tasked to set-up and monitor drumlines was told to prepare over the weekend which coincides with Australia Day.

REUTERS/FINBARR O'REILLY
A shark swims in a marine display at an aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa, June 10, 2007. REUTERS/FINBARR O'REILLY

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A fisherman based in Fremantle who asked not to be named was tasked to lay the drumlines at various beaches in Castle Rock, Meelup and Old Dunsborough. Lines will also be place around the coast of Gracetown, the site of the fatal shark attack in late 2013, which prompted the government of Western Australia to push for a shark culling policy.

A shark barrier 300 metres-long is being tested 100 metres from the shore of Old Dunsborough beach just in time for the national holiday. The drumlines are expected to be seen off the south-west coast first.

Shark culling will mean using baited drum lines with specially designed hooks to catch large sharks. The drum lines can be set at least 1 kilometre from the shoreline of Western Australia from Jan 22 to April 30. Western Australia previously reported sharks longer than 10 feet or 3 meters will be captured and treated as a threat. The Great White, tiger and bull sharks caught on the lines will be killed "humanely."

Australia's Environment Minister Greg Hunt said people should take necessary precautions when swimming, surfing or boating. Referring to Western Australia's exemption from environmental laws, Hunt added some shark attacks have brought a series of tragedies. He noted there was evidence to prove a significant increase in shark-related incidents in West Australia.

Plans to put up drumlines in Perth have been delayed because private contractors have allegedly pulled out due to threats of environmental groups. The state government has decided to delegate fisheries officers to put up the lines for killing sharks in the coming weeks. 

Meanwhile, protesters of the shark cull will gather for a national rally on Feb 1 in the hopes of disrupting the installation of shark lines. 

Hollywood star Ricky Gervais from The Office, appeared on social media, holding a sign telling the WA government to stop killing sharks. He was one of the celebrities who supported the campaign to stop shark culling, along with other UK stars.

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(Photo: REUTERS/FINBARR O'REILLY / )
A shark swims in a marine display at an aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa, June 10, 2007. REUTERS/FINBARR O'REILLY
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