The Australian Greens say the WA Government needs to ensure it consults with the Commonwealth Government over any plans to destroy sharks off the state’s coast.
Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on marine and fisheries has raised the WA proposal during Senate Estimates in Canberra, saying uncertainty and ambiguity around the plan is a cause for concern particularly as the species is vulnerable and covered by a recovery plan.
“WA may have the legal capacity to destroy a shark under certain circumstances, but the criteria around this decision making process remain unclear. What events or activities will lead to a decision that a shark is a significant threat?
“I understand that the Federal Environment Department has not had recent discussions on this issue with their WA counterparts.
“Clear guidelines around this process need to firstly be established and subsequently subjected to the appropriate consultation.
“The Environment Department have advised Estimates that a workshop will be held in Tasmania at the end of this month to examine the draft recovery plan for great whites and to better understand their population dynamics. I would encourage the WA Government to delay any major decisions until this workshop is complete.
“This workshop will examine the current state of great white populations and the status of their recovery as a species. The WA Government must consider this plan as part of any efforts to control sharks off our coast.
“The Australian Greens remain supportive of monitoring and non-lethal methods of ensuring the safety of swimmers. I remain sceptical that the lethal measures being considered by the WA Government will be effective and I’m concerned that they may offer a false sense of security,” Senator Siewert concluded.