Cull Policy Catches 170 Sharks, NO Single White Shark

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By Athena Yenko | May 8, 2014 3:25 PM EST

As a result of recent fatal attacks to humans by white sharks, the cull policy in Western Australia took effect in January.

On May 7, government reported that the policy was a success with 170 sharks caught, 50 biggest ones killed. However, not a single white shark was caught.

Speaking with Claire Moodie of ABC 7.30, Professor Jessica Meeuwig of University of Western Australia said that with the government's data, the cull policy seemed a logical fallacy.

"They've exclusively caught tiger sharks, a species that hasn't been involved in a fatality in the south-west of WA in the last 90 years. So suggesting that removing large tiger sharks which haven't attacked anybody has somehow saved somebody is a logical fallacy," Meeuwig said.

For her, the cull policy was too expensive.

"It's been a very expensive program and the safety outcomes are unclear and certainly the science  outcomes are negative."

For Dr Daryl McPhee of Queensland's  Bond University, taxpayers' money should be wisely spent on education.

"Perhaps we should really be focusing on is taking individual responsibility when we go into the water, not expecting a very large government investment in placating us," McPhee said.

However, those who expressed their desire to save the sharks from the policy took Ken Baston, WA Fisheries Minister by surprised.

"I'm very surprised how many people are in love with sharks, quite frankly. I mean, at the end of the day, I value a human life far greater than a shark."

For Baston, the cull policy was a success as it brought back confidence for the tourists frequenting the beaches. Furthermore, the policy widens the knowledge on shark behaviour.

Speaking with AFP, Baston explained that the government's foremost priority is to reduce risk to beach goers.

"The human toll from shark attacks in recent years has been too high. Our carefully implemented policy targeted the most dangerous shark species known to be in our waters -- white, tiger and bull sharks. While of course we will never know if any of the sharks caught would have harmed a person, this government will always place greatest value on human life."

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