WA Government backs-off renewed shark killing program
Humane Society International (HSI) today welcomed the decision by the WA Government to withdraw its application to catch large sharks through the deployment of baited drum lines for the next three years. The decision follows an assessment undertaken by WA’s Environmental Protection Agency (WA EPA) under the WA assessment bilateral agreement, which recommended that the proposal not be implemented due to the high degree of scientific uncertainty about impacts on the viability of the south-western white shark population.
“Whilst HSI welcomes this decision to cancel the three year deployment of baited drum lines, the approval of the ‘imminent threat’ policy is extremely disappointing, and risks being equally damaging to the threatened white shark population and other marine life if strict controls are not placed on numbers caught” said HSI’s Michael Kennedy.
“The imminent threat policy is a joke. One of the white sharks recently caught under this policy was part of an important scientific research project to help better understand the species, and yet was killed before any data has even been published. This is not only a complete waste of money, but also a complete mockery of the WA Government’s commitment to improving the scientific understanding of white sharks – key in helping us to better educate the public on how best to avoid interactions with these sharks. With the bar set so low as to what constitutes an imminent threat, it is clear that it is still true that no shark in WA that swims near a beach is safe from being caught and killed” continued Mr Kennedy.
“It is time that our threatened species were respected, and not killed for political expediency. HSI will certainly be continuing to actively oppose this policy, as we have since it was first introduced in 2012.” concluded Mr Kennedy.