Read alone the statement seems simply foolish, dig deeper and the absurdity becomes even plainer. Given that the receiver is about 800 to 1000 meters (approx. 2,600 to 3,300 feet) from shore, and the shark had been detected over 200 times in the previous three weeks it clearly had been within one kilometer (0.6 miles) of shore for most of the month. It was detected on consecutive days from Nov. 24 to 25, Dec. 4 to 5, and every day from Dec. 9 to 19. I only refer to daylight detections, as this is what the now "serious threat" policy is gauged against. Dept. of Fisheries acting Director General Rick Fletcher stated that numerous other mitigation strategies to move the shark on had been tried and failed, but refused to name what these "other strategies" actually were.
Scarborough beach to Perth's north is one of our busiest beaches. A tagged white shark was detected on its receiver on consecutive days in December. This triggered a beach closure yet no kill order. Warnbro sound experienced over 200 detections over a two month period, including 10 consecutive days in Dec. yet not once was the beach closed. The closure of Warnbro beaches came only as a result of a kill order being issued. It was stated that the coming school holidays was a contributing factor, along with warm and sunny weather. So is Premier Barnett stating that the lives of holiday makers are more important than those of the Warnbro locals? The same locals who had been using their beaches for the past month, despite the known presence of sharks? Beaches in the greater Perth area are always busy in summer, regardless of holidays. Why was Scarborough beach, a popular tourist spot closed for a tagged shark, and Warnbro (a residential area) not for a shark that indicated not only it's presence but likely many others due to schooling fish? The parallels to the Mayor of Amity Island from "Jaws" and the WA Premier seem more and more fitting. Beach closures and shark hunts to protect tourists and holiday makers, while locals look on in bewilderment and anger, all the while acknowledging and accepting the seasonal presence of sharks.