Sunday, 14 September 2014

Shark cull rejected by Western Australia Environmental Protection Authority

No baited drumlines will be set this summer after concerns over program’s impact on great whites leads to EPA recommendation


theguardian.com, Thursday 11 September 2014 09.03 BST

Baited drumlines will not be deployed in Western Australia this summer after the Environmental Protection Authority recommended that the state’s controversial shark culling program not be extended, citing “a high degree of scientific uncertainty” about the impact of drumlines on the great white shark population.

Under the WA government’s proposal – which followed a three-month trial earlier this year – more than 70 hooks would be strung about 1km off popular beaches in Perth and the state’s south-west each summer for the next three years.

The state government’s own environmental assessment estimated about 25 great whites, a protected species under state and commonwealth regulations, would be snared on the hooks.

But on Thursday the EPA chairman, Paul Vogel, said a CSIRO review of the government’s estimates “stated there remained too much uncertainty in the available information and evidence about the south-western white shark population, population trends and the bycatch from commercial fisheries”.

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