After a campaign that pulled in over 100 sharks off the beaches of Perth, Australia's controversial shark cull has finally come to an end this season. At the end of the trial cull, 31 sharks had been killed, while another 14 were found dead on hooks, all of which were smaller than the required length limit. The ineffective cull brought in a lot of tiger sharks but no great whites, the species responsible for the most fatal attacks on humans.
Premier Colin Barnett said the policy was a success.
"I think it has been a success, and maybe there'll be a fair bit of contention about that, but we have caught some very large sharks close into popular swimming areas," he told the country's ABC radio on Wednesday.
Despite a failure to catch the species that kills most humans, the government of Western Australia applied to the commonwealth to continue the program for three more years. So now begins a four-week public submission period on the extension, hosted by the state's Environmental Protection Authority.
If resumed, the shark cull will begin again Nov. 15. Conservationists are fighting against the cull, which they say is unscientific, inhumane and ineffective.
"This is chaotic, unscientific and highly expensive policy that makes no sense at all," the WA shadow environment minister, Chris Tallentire, told the Guardian. He added, "Thank goodness the drumlines are coming out today. But we don't want to see them back."
You can sign a petition to stop the shark cull here, and submit a public comment to Western Australia's Environmental Protection Agency here.