The sighting of a four-metre shark close to a popular Perth beach has prompted the temporary deployment of more of Western Australia’s controversial drum lines.
A day after thousands of people protested against the baited hooks being placed off Perth’s coastline, the sighting of the large shark 100m off Leighton Beach near Fremantle forced lifesavers to shut the beach.
Two fisheries vessels, already in the water to check the drumlines placed off the coast on Friday, scrambled to the area and laid up to five more baited hooks in an attempt to catch the shark.
But after an hour, and with no further sightings, the hooks were retracted and the beaches reopened.
Fremantle and Port beaches have both been reopened due to no further shark sightings, the Surf Life Saving twitter account announced.
On Saturday, thousands of West Australians rallied at Perth’s Cottesloe Beach, calling for an end to the state government’s contentious shark killing policy.
They were joined by protesters on several other WA beaches, as well rallies across Australia and in New Zealand.
— Perth Coffeeologist (@Coffeeologistwa) January 4, 2014
However in the Victorian coastal town of Lorne, swimmers had to leave the sea after a shark sighting by a rescue helicopter.
Lorne Surf Club patrol captain Nick Roffey said lifesavers were able to chase the two-metre shark out of the area using an inflatable rescue boat.
The beach was reopened by 12.40pm.