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Of course this has bred a social media storm.
OPPONENTS to the West Australian government’s shark killing program have responded angrily to the first slaughter in the state’s waters.
A fisherman contracted by the WA government to set and monitor baited drum lines one kilometre off beaches in the South West region was reportedly seen off Meelup beach, near Dunsborough on Sunday morning shooting a large shark.
The shark had been caught in the drum lines, which were set up on Saturday afternoon, and was then towed further out to sea. “So sad”, “disgrace” and “shame”, many wrote on social media. Others commented that it was awful news on Australia Day, while WA Premier Colin Barnett was heckled at a citizenship ceremony in Wanneroo.
“While we drink beer the shark cull has started in WA. #dobetteraustralia,” one tweet read.
And so on and so on and so on…
Sea Shepherd’s Jeff Hansen said the shark was “believed to be a beautiful tiger shark” more than 3m long.
The controversial program went ahead after federal environment minister Greg Hunt granted WA an exemption under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, allowing the protected great white shark to be killed.
In a notice to mariners warning of navigational hazards, the WA government said drum lines would soon be deployed in metropolitan waters, extending from Quinns Rock Beach to Warnbro beach.
It has been forced to rope in its own Department of Fisheries officers to do the work after commercial operators pulled out following threats from activists.
The lines, which are attached to floating boys, bear the warning: “No vessel is to approach, moor to or interfere with the above equipment at any time – modified penalties will apply.” Activists have pledged to interfere with the program.
A rally against the cull is scheduled for Cottesloe beach – the electorate and home suburb of Mr Barnett – on Saturday.
Thousands attended the previous protest. [read it all here]
I don’t know, it seems to me everyone wants the same thing here.
On the one hand, Australia needs those tourists dollars coming in to keep the proverbial shrimp on the barbie. On the other hand, Australian animal rights activists need tourists coming in to keep their sharks fed.
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