News State Western Australia News Protesters oppose shark policy
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Protesters oppose shark policy

A small number of people showed up at Parliament to protest against a tougher policy against sharks.
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·Tributes flow for surfer

A small but passionate group has been protesting at State Parliament against a more aggressive shark policy.

The State Government has indicated it will announce new measures today after a number of fatal attacks on surfers and divers.

Last month, surfer Chris Boyd was attacked by a Great White shark near Gracetown in WA’s South West.

He was the 11th person to die from a shark attack in the state since 2000.

Following his death, the Margaret River Boardriders Club called for a cull of all sharks over three metres.

The State Government currently issues orders to catch and kill a shark if it presents an imminent threat.

But Great White Sharks are a protected species under Commonwealth law.

Protesters call for sharks to be respected and protected

The president of the Western Australians for Shark Conservation, Ross Weir, hopes a cull will not be ordered.

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

Sea Shepherd’s Australian director Jeff Hansen says his group will be checking the legalities around the protected species.

He says Great Whites are a vulnerable and endangered species.

“The reality is an ocean without sharks is a planet without people,” he said.

“We need sharks for our survival and we need to give them the respect they deserve for our kids and their kids.”

But, Tom Innes, who is a committee member of the Margaret River Boardriders Club, said last month that reducing the number of bigger sharks will reduce the risk of further attacks.

“I think it’s undeniable, the facts are there that sharks are increasing in numbers, they’re attacking more people than they used to, there’s obviously more sharks in the water and more aggressive larger sharks that feed on mammals and large prey out there,” he said.

“So in order to reduce the risk of further attacks I think these larger sharks need to be reduced in number.”