Shark cull catch data demonstrates need for Federal assessment
The WA Government has today released the catch data for the entire period of the WA shark cull, from 25th January to 30th April 2014.
In total 180 animals were caught on the drumlines of which 172 were sharks, plus 7 stingrays and 1 Northwest blowfish. Out of the 172 sharks caught there were 163 tiger sharks, 1 bull shark, 1 spinner shark, 5 mako sharks and 1 undetermined species.
67 sharks were killed or found dead on drumlines and 18 of these were smaller than the target size of 3 metres and above in length, representing 27% of the sharks that died as a result of the program.
“Greater investigation into the impact of this program on the marine environment is clearly required, particularly given that 27% of the sharks killed in the program were less than the target 3 metres and above,” said Alexia Wellbelove of HSI. “Whilst a large number of sharks were released, many of these sustained injuries and therefore will likely not have survived the ordeal.”
“Particularly concerning is the catch of 5 federally protected mako sharks, 4 of which died as a result of being caught on the drumlines, and all of which were less than 3 metres in length. Given that the WA Government appears to have given no consideration to the possibility of catching internationally protected mako sharks, we are calling on the Federal Environment Minister to undertake a full review and assessment of the WA shark cull program before any more killing takes place,” continued Ms Wellbelove.
“This program can in no way be called a success, given the impacts it has had on the marine environment. There is no science to suggest that removing sharks from the marine environment will reduce the risk of a shark bite, and we call on the WA Government to put greater focus on science and educating the public rather than relying on scare tactics,” concluded Ms Wellbelove.