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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Designer / Design Director

£38000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This B2B content marketing agen...

Austen Lloyd: Law Costs HOD - Southampton

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...

Recruitment Genius: Infrastructure Architect

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Infrastructure Architect is ...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn