A Manchester aquarium curator has described the plan to kill sharks in Australia as ‘outrageous’ ‘misguided’ and ‘complete folly.’
The Government of Western Australia plans to launch a multi-million dollar operation to cull large sharks, including Great Whites, in an attempt to improve safety in busy waters.
The plan to set baited hooks around Perth’s beaches, in response to seven fatal shark attacks in three years, has sparked outrage around the world.
Last week in Australia, more than 4,000 people protested at Perth’s Cottesloe beach alone.
Sea Life Manchester’s curator and shark expert Lucy Handel believes the plan will cause more harm than good.
“Quite apart from the fact that many shark species are already on the brink of extinction due to overfishing and decades of persecution, the proposed solution to Perth’s shark-attack problem is more likely to exacerbate than to solve it,” Lucy said.
“They want to attach lines and baited hooks to drums a mile off-shore and pay commercial fishermen to patrol them and kill any captured shark over three metres long.
“That could include Great Whites, which are a protected species and in sharp decline, as well as species like Tiger and Bull sharks.
“Conservationists already face an uphill struggle trying to end the slaughter of an estimated 70million sharks per annum so that their fins can be turned into soup,” added Lucy.
Lucy says Sea Life are willing to help educate the Western Government of Australia so that an alternative solution can be made.
“This outrageous proposal by the Western Australian Government clearly illustrates how little some people have learned.”
“From what we understand it’s somebody who’s not educated at all in the subject that’s made a decision without being fully educated on all the other impacts that need to be considered,” she told MM.
“We have hundreds of experts in the field and we have some centres in Australia, and we’re more than happy to advise them on best practices and help them come up with a longer term plan to make sure everyone’s safe and we have the healthy eco-system that we need.”
Image courtesy of kqedquest, with thanks