Calls for shark cull after fatal Great White attack

 

Sydney

Tourism operators in Western Australia yesterday demanded a shark cull, following the fourth fatal attack in seven months and amid warnings that the state's beaches are now the most dangerous in the world for shark attacks.

State fisheries officials said they believed a 13-foot Great White shark killed Peter Kurmann while he was diving for crayfish off Stratham Beach, 145 miles south of Perth, on Saturday morning. Great Whites have been blamed for the three previous deaths since 1 September off the south-western coast of WA.

Rory McAuley, a senior shark research scientist with WA Fisheries, said the spate of deadly attacks in the area was unprecedented.

"I'm not aware of any series of fatal shark attacks, this number, in such a short period anywhere in the world," he said yesterday. "Last year was particularly bad. This year has already started very tragically."

With its combination of beaches, wineries and forests, the south-west of WA is a popular visitor destination. But tourism operators say the shark attacks are frightening people away.

"There is absolutely no doubt that it is impacting on our tourism," said Ian Stubbs, the mayor of Busselton, a small coastal town where Mr Kurmann lived with his wife and two young sons.

"These sharks that come in close need to be exterminated. The state government needs to act, and they need to act now. How many more of these tragic deaths can we continue to have?"

The state Premier, Colin Barnett, said that while he opposed a cull, it was possible that commercial fishing restrictions could be relaxed, despite the Great White being a protected species.

Mr Kurmann, 33, was diving with his brother, Gian, about a mile offshore when he was fatally mauled. Beaches in the south-west of the state were closed all weekend, but will reopen today after a fruitless search for the killer shark was called off.

Australia experiences an average of one fatal shark attack a year along its 22,000-mile coastline. Mr McAuley said various factors, including a rise in the human or shark population, could be to blame for the surge in attacks.

"It's very hard to tease out what might be due to the increase in shark numbers and distinguish that from the increase in human population," he said.

Shark experts believe different sharks, rather than one or two "rogue" predators, will have been responsible for the recent run of attacks, which began last September when a 21-year-old bodyboarder, Kyle Burden, was killed off Bunker Bay, west of Busselton.

The following month, Bryn Martin, 64, disappeared while swimming off Perth's main Cottesloe Beach and is believed to have been taken by a shark, and a 32-year-old Texan, George Wainwright, was fatally mauled while scuba diving off Rottnest Island, near Perth.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
tv

First full-length look is finally here

Life and Style
life
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Arts and Entertainment
Film director Martin Scorsese
film
News
news

The party's potential nominations read like a high school race for student body president

Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballI have never seen the point of lambasting the fourth official, writes Paul Scholes
Latest stories from i100
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

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...

Recruitment Genius: Engineering Manager - Alconbury

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for an Engineering M...

Recruitment Genius: .Net / SQL Developer

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A skilled .NET developer with e...

Recruitment Genius: IT Technical Support Engineer - PC/Mac

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company are cur...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee