Shark cull policy turns shambolic

Greens South Metro MLC Lynn MacLaren says the WA Government’s announcement today that it will divert WA Fisheries Department resources to operate drum lines off Perth after no commercial operator could be found to do the job is further evidence the shark policy is a shambles.

 “After blaming everyone but themselves for not being able to find a commercial operator willing to operate drum lines off Perth, the Barnett Government has announced that it will divert Fisheries Department’s resources to do this dirty task,” Ms MacLaren said.

 “I guarantee that virtually no one at Fisheries will be happy about this; I would not be surprised if there are resignations.

 “The WA Fisheries Department’s mission is to conserve and manage the aquatic resources of WA to ensure there are ‘fish for the future’ – the shark cull completely contradicts this.

  “I ask the Fisheries Minister to come clean on what Fisheries Department services will be put on hold for three months so that resources can be diverted to drum lining, which according to the advertised tender, will require a 12-metre boat to be operated 12 hours a day, seven days a week until April.

 “The man hours and expertise required, as well as the boat itself, is a hugely expensive and significant resource to expect Fisheries to provide at short notice.

 “Which Fisheries monitoring, research, compliance and marine safety activities will be put on hold in the meantime?

 “Why is the Minister jeopardising our other fish stocks  off WA for the sake of the Premier’s foolish, expensive and dangerous shark cull policy?”

 “I call on Cabinet to listen to Western Australians and common sense and drop the cull policy now.”