Australia's controversial shark cull program, which has already garnered its fair share of criticism in the past few weeks, has created another problem for the sharks of Perth's beaches -- now, a local news site reports that sharks caught on drumlines are being bit by other passing sharks.
The drumlines, which were set up less than a mile from shore with baited hooks attached, are meant to attract sharks so that they can be killed by squads in boats with guns. This is considered the most "humane" method to decrease shark attacks on humans by the government. But that may not be so, considering a statement given by a spokesman for the Department of Premier and Cabinet in Western Australia. "Both the fishing contractor in the SW and the fisheries' crews are reporting minor evidence of bites on sharks caught on the lines, probably from other sharks," he said, according to WAToday.
While sharks can usually smell bait on a line from a few hundred feet away, Shark expert Hugh Edwards says that sharks that are "thrashing about" on hooks will release stress signals into the water, which will attract other sharks from even further away and make them essentially sitting ducks. "Sharks can pick up body vibrations and blood from kilometres away," he said.