Western Australia Seeks 3-Year Extension of Shark Cull as Great White Shark Roams Perth Beaches

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Animal Rights Activists Gather to Denounce Controversial Programme to Cull Sharks Off Coast of Western Australia.
Animal rights activists gather to denounce controversial programme to cull sharks off coast of Western Australia. February 1, 2014. REUTERS/Julie Noce

Western Australia is seeking to extend its shark cull policy by three years. The state government has formally applied to continue setting up its 72 baited drumlines one kilometre off the coast of popular beaches. The state is asking for the shark cull to continue for three years between November 15 and April 30 beginning 2014.

The continuation of the shark cull will allow Western Australia to catch and kill any tiger, bull or great white shark longer than 3 metres caught. Sharks that meet the minimum size requirement are shot then dumped further out at sea.

According to Western Australia, the number of static drumlines in the water will not be greater than 60 at a time. The state keeps 12 drumlines in reserve in an event of shark attack. The application to the commonwealth for the extension follows after the Fisheries staff attempt to catch and kill a great white shark that has been swimming close to Perth beaches. 

Reports said additional baited drumlines have been placed at Swanbourne beach to try and catch the roaming shark. The great white shark was first spotted 200 metres off Trigg beach. The shark moved to Scarborough beach then was also seen in City Beach and Floreat.  The beaches were closed off for swimming when the shark was spotted.

Based on state figures released in March, the shark cull policy has caught 104 sharks which include 101 tiger sharks.

Western Australia Greens MP Lynn MacLaren was "appalled" by the state's application for extension. She said the government has not bothered to consider the alternatives presented to it.

Recent shark attacks in Australia

NSW police have found the goggles and the swimming cap believed to belong to Chris Armstrong who was taken by a shark in Australia's Tathra beach. Aside from the cap and goggles, authorities also found some human remains.

Chris Armstrong was swimming with five other friends off Tathra wharf when she was suddenly dragged by a shark. Dozens of emergency service personnel had been scouring the waters after his companions reported the incident.

On April 2, the body of a diver was recovered after he disappeared in Western Australia. Authorities said the remains showed evidence that the diver was bitten by a shark.

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