The Australian Greens said today it is unbelievable that sharks caught through the WA Government's appalling drum line policy are not being tagged before their release.
Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on marine issues has called on WA Premier Colin Barnett to order the immediate tagging of any shark caught and released from drum lines off Perth or the South West.
"The Government clearly isn't interested in learning more about sharks. If it was it would be ensuring these sharks are tagged," Senator Siewert said today.
"It isn't good enough for the Government to say that tagging of sharks caught under this policy will be phased in over time. Tagging is an important part of increasing our capacity to monitor sharks and learn more about their behaviour.
"This knowledge is fundamental for developing strong, shark management policies that don't involve knee-jerk culls.
"The Greens oppose the use of drum lines and believe their removal should take place immediately. Until this occurs, the Government could at least be ensuring sharks are properly tagged.
"The WA Government has already refused the US$675,000 offer from OCEARCH Ocean Research to undertake tagging in our waters. This new oversight suggests that when it comes to sharks, Colin Barnett is not interested in the science, just the politics," Senator Siewert concluded.