ADAM WITHNALL Wednesday 07 May 2014 More than 170 sharks have been caught and 50 destroyed as part of Australia’s controversial culling policy, government figures have revealed.
Opponents of scheme say it is hurting the wrong shark species and doing nothing to protect beach-goers.
Officials said the programme was “successfully restoring confidence” among beach-goers in Western Australia, but opponents have been critical after it emerged that the animals caught did not include a single great white – the species most often blamed for fatal attacks.
The trial scheme involved placing drum lines along seven of the state’s most popular beaches, and while tiger sharks were the most commonly caught there were also five protected makos, four of which were either killed or found already dead on the line.
The largest shark caught measured was at Floreat Beach, and measured 4.5m (15ft). All the animals destroyed were longer than 3m (10ft).
The government is now seeking permission to extend the programme for the next three years, but opposition politicians described attempts to justify the cull as “utter nonsense”.
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