Government admits there is no reason to kill sharks

21st November 2014


Pressed by the Greens in Parliament this week to reveal the logic or research behind its policy of killing sharks in an area after a shark bite has occurred, the Government has admitted that there is none. 

"On behalf of the Premier, the Leader of the Upper House last night admitted the Government has no research or evidence to show that a shark that has bitten a human once is any more likely than the next shark to bite a human again, and yet this assumption is at the heart of the Government's Imminent Threat policy and the justification for killing protected and vulnerable great white sharks," Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said. 

"This is an extraordinary admission by this Government, which has previously resorted to prevarication and evasion when backed into corner over the lack of science behind its shark culling. 

"It also means that the Government cannot, in all conscience, now go ahead and announce the continuation, or indeed expansion, of its Imminent Threat policy to kill sharks. 

“The only argument Government came up with last night to support killing sharks in an area after shark bite has occurred was that it addressed the erosion of public confidence about entering the water at that location. 

“But that argument has a major flaw: the danger created by killing sharks at a location after a bite has occurred is that people may think that area of the ocean has been made safe, when in fact the risk of another shark bite occurring remains undiminished, due to the fact that great white sharks travel great distances at speed and are not territorial in behaviour. 

“Come on Premier, we have moved on from ignorance and myth about sharks in WA. The public wants to see this Government become a world leader in shark hazard management, not the international pariah that we have been the past year. 

“Give up your long-held obsession with killing sharks. It's not helping you or the environment, or the ocean-using public.”  

Note to editors: see Premier's answers in Parliament last night to Lynn MacLaren MLC's questions on sharks:$FILE/C39+S1+20141120+p42c-42c.pdf

Authorised by Lynn MacLaren © 2017

Hon Lynn MacLaren MLC - Member for South Metropolitan Region Legislative Council, Parliament of Western Australia