Australia: First shark killed as controversial culling policy begins

The three-metre animal, believed to be a female tiger shark, was caught on bait lines and shot in the head four times at close range

The first shark to be killed under a controversial culling policy was shot dead off Australia’s western coast on Sunday, despite fierce opposition from environmental activists.

The three-metre (10ft) animal, believed to be a female tiger shark, was caught on bait lines near Dunsborough, south of Perth, and shot in the head four times at close range by a government-contracted commercial fisherman.

Its carcass was dumped at sea, Simon Beaumont, a government spokesperson said.

Controversial barriers used to catch and kill sharks which come too close to popular beaches of Western Australia were laid down by fishermen at the weekend.

The State Government say the shark cull policy has been introduced to reduce the incidence of shark attacks, of which there have been seven fatal attacks in the last three years.

The shark barrier at Dunsborough beach in Perth, Western Australia, Australia as it is constructed on 25 January The first ‘kill zones’ were set down around Old Dunsborough beach yesterday, with the drum lines holding huge hooks covered with bait being laid down by a private contractor.

The barriers are to be set one km of the coast in Perth and the south West and are used to catch great white, tiger and bull sharks bigger than 3m in length. They were approved by Australia’s national government last week and can remain in place until the end of April.

They will then move to Gracetown where last year a surfer became the seventh person to be killed by a shark in Western Australian waters since August 2010, prompting the government action.

Shark catch and kill barriers to be laid down in Western Australia

The federal government last week also gave state authorities a special exemption from environmental laws to kill white sharks, a protected species. 

The policy has been condemned by environmental groups, with the Humane Society labelling it “a complete disgrace”.

Various celebrities have also spoken out over the cull, with Sir Richard Branson tweeting that the policy "should be condemned across the world".  Comedian Ricky Gervais also urged the Australian Government to protect the sharks, "who were there first".



Premier Colin Barnett defended the first killing, arguing that sharks are becoming increasingly aggressive, and said the programme would continue until safety concerns for beach goers have been resolved.

“I respect and acknowledge and people have different points of view and there are protesters, but my responsibility as Premier is the safety of beachgoers,”  Mr Barnett said.

“I get no pleasure at seeing sharks killed but I have an overriding responsibility to protect the people of Western Australia and that’s what I’m doing.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) criticised the cull in light of the government's own White Shark Recovery Plan.

A spokesperson said: "There is also no scientific evidence to support slaughtering sharks as a solution to shark attacks, which is why most marine experts disapprove of this plan. More than 100 species of sharks are known to inhabit Western Australia waters, and they play an essential role in our oceans."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Developer (Genetic Algorithms, .NET 4.5, TDD, SQL, AI)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Full Stack Developer (.NET 4.0, ASP.NET, MVC, Ajax, WCF,SQL)

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Full Stack ...

AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - Investment Management

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: AIFMD Business Analyst / Consultant - I...

Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pillar 1, 2 & 3) Insurance

£450 - £600 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Solvency II SME (Pilla...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction