First shark killed as controversial Australian cull gets underway

Cage diving with a shark

Large Tiger shark shot dead as Western Australia begins kill designed to reduce attacks

LAST UPDATED AT 15:43 ON Mon 27 Jan 2014

UPDATE: A large shark has been shot dead off Australia's western coast - the first under the controversial culling policy introduced to cut the number of shark attacks on surfers and swimmers. The three-metre animal, believed to be a female tiger shark, one of three species on the government's kill list, was caught on bait lines off Meelup Beach near Dunsborough, south of Perth.

A CULL of great white sharks is set to begin in Australia in response to a growing number of fatal attacks over the past three years.

The country's new conservative government approved the cull yesterday, granting Western Australia an exemption from 1999 legislation that lists the great white as an endangered species.

Recent years have witnessed an increase in the number of great white attacks off WA. with a 35-year-old surfer killed last November the seventh fatality since 2010. Opinion varies as to why the number of attacks has risen sharply, but one theory put forward by the Ocean's Institute in Western Australia blames them on "a corresponding rise in the number of migrating whales along Australia's coast, which draws in marine scavengers".

Whatever the cause, the attacks are threatening the state's $7.8bn tourism industry with The Australian newspaper reporting that the WA government believes the deaths have "dented tourism and leisure-based businesses". Additionally, recreational diving operators said the number of people learning to dive had dropped by 90 per cent.

As a result WA's state premier, Colin Barnett, has authorised a plan to catch sharks more than three metres in length using 72 baited drums that the state government will monitor round-the-clock. Sharks under three metres will be released but those exceeding the measurement will be shot by professional hunters.

The measure has outraged conservation and environmental groups who point out that great whites are listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The Humane Society has described the cull as "a complete disgrace" and thousands of protesters recently rallied against it on Perth's Cottesloe Beach.

A repeat demonstration is planned for 1 February and Lynn MacLaren, from Western Australia's Green Party, is considering a legal challenge to the hunt. But Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt remains unmoved by the protests. "One does not have to agree with a policy to accept that a national interest exemption is warranted to protect against imminent threat to life, economic damage and public safety," he said. · 

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It is not right to shoot great white sharks
It is animal cruelty and I want it stopped
Just leave the great whites alone!!!!!!

...even a three metre (10 foot) Great White poses a lethal threat to swimmers and bathers - either kill them all or leave them all alone.

I favour the latter course of action - only idiots venture so far out, at dawn or dusk, in waters known to be frequented by Great Whites.

The real remedy should be to raise awareness of the potential dangers facing naive or, frankly, foolhardy swimmers and water-sports enthusiasts in these waters. The shark suffers because of human inability to compromise in such matters.

sharks kill 7 people in 3-4 years its hardly a reason to cull these animals, there are animals on this planet that kill 100-300 humans per year yet there is no calls for culling them
another case of human ignorance showing its ugly head again

I have family who live in Perth, and they are strongly against the cull. I think that part of the trouble may be the way people go in cages to see the sharks, and they are enticed in with food and blood in the water. If they grow to associate people with food, it is asking for trouble.

If you're in their territory (the ocean) it's bound to happen. Fatal car accidents happen every day, yet we don't make driving them illegal. This is why our planet's environment is going to shit, Why do humans feel our lives our more significant than those who have been around for billions of years. If you ask me, there is something to be learned from this species instead of fearing and murdering them.

cull the sharks because human beings are dumb and can not figure out how to be at peace with all things and then seek like all biological organisms to destroy their own environment as it becomes too toxic for life.... even socially. SHIT how much oil was spilled into the ocean this year?

This is completely idiotic. It's as if the Australian government is forgetting the simple fact that sharks, unlike us, only kill humans if they feel threatened or mistake them as food - the concept of murder does not even exist in the animal kingdom. The decisions that have lead to this act of blatant cruelty and unnecessary pain and death make me question who we are letting lead our country and what type of education system or culture has mislead them to believe that killing an innocent creature is in any way justified. In what country are we living in if we have a government that legislates the murder of innocent sharks to reduce the risk for thrill-seeking surfers? Honestly, I'm only sixteen and even I know this is intrinsically wrong.

...an excellent post, IMHO - you have a bright future - try to spread that philosophy among your peers and the world might become, just might, a better place. Well done!

Kangaroos are culled, so why not sharks?

White shark kills a surfer so WA kills Tiger Sharks? Brilliant strategy. Its like poisoning a reef to catch the fish, leaving long term ecological impacts.

Colin Barnett is the biggest red-neck hick douchebag Australia has ever seen. Does the US or Canada go randomly killing bears because someone gets killed? NO. His office was spray painted and vandalised. Next stop: his family home.

Are you for real? or just a numb-nut?

It's the WA governement, not Federal Govt... WA should have broken off and become its own country. Its full of redneck hicks and trailer trash.

Nonsense. 46 people drowned in WA last year. 2 people were killed by sharks. Do the maths... Barnett better keep a baseball bat under his bed.

Send a message to that WA premier d* head Colin Barnett.

WA is full of Poms and South Africans and most of them are against this sort of retarded action by douche bag barnett. Go downtown in Perth and egg Colin's offices.

Hopefully enough activists are out there cutting the lines and removing bait from the hooks.... they have done a great job so far

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