After the controversial Western Australia shark cull finally drew to a close last week, data on the catch has been released by the government showing that of the 172 sharks caught, 50 were shot dead.
The news also reveals that not one great white shark -- the species responsible for the most attacks on humans -- was ever caught on the 72 baited hooks on drumlines placed about a half a mile off the beaches of Perth. The goal of the cull had been to reduce fatal attacks on humans.
While most of the species caught were tiger sharks, the cull also snagged a protected species -- five mako sharks. A bull shark and seven stingrays were also found on the hooks.
After the public backlash and the recently-released data, the federal government has announced it will conduct an assessment of the policy, after it initially waived its requirement to protect vulnerable species like the great white shark for the program.
While proponents contend that the culls make the beaches safer, opponents say that the cull is ineffective and counter to conservation. Greens senator Rachel Siewert told the Guardian that the federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, should reject WA's application to extend the cull for another three years.
"The WA government's attempts to justify this policy are utter nonsense -- they have thrown science out the window," she said. "The federal government must reject the three-year extension of the cull; it has no scientific credibility and is clearly nothing more than a PR exercise."