Animal rights groups protest new strategy that includes killing sharks

Dec. 10, 2013 at 10:17 AM
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PERTH, Australia, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- The Western Australia government said it is implementing a new strategy to reduce shark attacks following six fatalities in the area over the past two years.

The government is creating zones along beaches in Perth and the southwest, where sharks are considered an imminent threat, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Commercial fishers will then be hired to catch and kill large sharks that enter the zones, Fisheries Minister Troy Buswell said.

A group of animal rights experts said they are protesting the policy.

President of the Western Australians for Shark Conservation Ross Weir said the sharks should not be killed.

"It has been proven that taking individual great white sharks has a detrimental effect, and a serious effect, on this endangered species," he said.

But others say the strategy will help public safety, and Premier of Western Australia Colin Barnett said the policy is necessary in light of the recent deaths.

"These new initiatives come on top of a raft of measures like increased aerial surveillance, beach patrols, shark tagging and a trial of a shark enclosure in the southwest," he said.

The government has allocated more than $20 million over four years to shark mitigation strategies.

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