The controversial shark cull policy of Australia may catch over 900 marine animals in the next three years, based on the results of a government assessment. Critics of the shark cull policy were angered and said sharks were being "caught needlessly."
The catch-and-kill policy had a trial run for three months, and the state government has called it a "success." Baited drum lines were set off near Perth's popular beaches, including two off the coast of South West, following the increase of shark attacks in recent years.
Out of 172 sharks, 50 tiger sharks longer than three metres were killed. Other than sharks, eight other marine animals were caught in drumlines, including stingrays, but not a single great white shark was captured and killed under the government's trial program.
Western Australia's Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has completed its evaluation of the state's plan to extend its shark cull policy for up to three years.
The environmental watchdog has previously dismissed the shark cull trial assessment which began in January and set to end in the last week of April. The decision has angered conservationists. The three-year shark cull bid came after the fisheries staff attempted to catch and kill a huge white shark seen swimming close to Perth beaches earlier in April.
Western Australia's application for extension has been granted under a new proposal which was publicly released on June 9. In the proposed plan, 72 baited hooks will be attached to floating drums. The drums will remain in place between the months of November and April until 2017.
Reports said about 900 tiger sharks and 25 great white sharks are expected to be caught for the duration of the cull. During the state government's trial run, official tally was "controversial" with more than 170 sharks were caught on drum lines off popular beaches. The great white shark, the cause of fatal attacks on humans, was not part of the government's official "kill" tally.