- Posted June 17, 2014 by
50 Sharks Culled, Hundreds Tagged
Running through the different theories, human behavior is conditioning sharks to stick around, but sharks are still one of the greatest human predators up to now. This species strikes terror into the people around the world like no other. The sudden violence of their attacks is truly a terrifying experience for victims. That is one of the reasons that the Western government of Australia led a program of catching and killing hundreds of these “human killers”. This program has drawn an angry reaction from conservationists.
This three-month program is about catching sharks using baited lines attached to floating drums. They were placed in the large beach of Western Australia where there were recent fatal shark attacks. According to the government, 7 people were dead during these attacks over the past three years. As a result, the western Australian government caught more than 170 sharks and killed 50. This culling program was supported by the federal environment minister, Greg Hunt. The exemption under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act allows the government to hunt the great white shark which is one of the world’s most protected marine predators.
The Fishery Minister Ken Baston said that this program is held for restoring the beachgoers confidence. It also contributes to the study of shark behavior. In a press conference Mr. Collin Barnett said that he has no pleasure from seeing sharks killed, but he had the responsibility to protect people of the Western Australia as the human death rate from shark attacks has greatly increased in recent years. “Human life is still very important,” he added.
Apart from killing the sharks, the government led a hi-tech initiative program, satellite-linked shark tagging program. It consists of tagging the sharks before releasing them and will help the beach safety authorities in alerting them if a shark is at the vicinity. The dangerous sharks can be detected properly so that safety authorities can react in order to avoid any potential shark attacks. More than 300 sharks have been tagged and the Western Australian government seeks to extend the project for three more years.
The scene is very negatively viewed by the activists and conservationists who said that the marine environment and all its contents, including these predators, should remain protected. It was stated that in fact, during the program, “"Of the 172 sharks that were caught on the drum line, the majority were tiger sharks which haven't been involved in shark fatalities for decades in Western Australia," Nathalie Banks, Sea Shepherd Shark campaigner said. Some of the rescue sharks were still in a state of shock and such program may destroy completely these species.