Tuesday, 29 April 2014

iKoast App: Shark Cull Ends, Debate Continues – Community Alternatives right here in WA

What a summer.

Of 110 sharks caught under the WA government's catch-and-kill policy: 105 were tiger sharks, 33 were destroyed, 14 already dead…. giving us a grand total fail count of ZERO GREAT WHITES. 
While today marks the end of the shark cull trial, if approved by the Federal Environment Minister, the WA community stands to endure three more years of  cruelty to our marine life.
Drumlines have killed 50 tiger sharks in WA
As we await the May 8 decision, the Environmental Protection Authority (despite rejecting 23,000 anti-cull submissions last month) has now agreed to assess the cull which if approved, will resume on 15 November this year until the end of April 2017. They’ve promised a detailed assessment of environmental impacts of the proposed 22-week program every year for three years on WA’s marine fauna. We’re hoping the report will have a few things to say about the 105 tiger sharks caught on our drumlines, yet to pose a threat to humans.

Alternatives to shark culling
A few weeks ago at a #nowasharkcull forum, iKoast were invited along to chat about community alternatives to culling. Among the presenters were Shark Scientist, Riley Elliot from New Zealand, Free Diver and “Shark Whisperer” Ocean Ramsey and the University of Western Australia’s marine neuroecologist Ryan Kempster. (We admire the work Ocean is doing around the world and look forward to rolling out in Hawaii!)
iKoast with Ocean Ramsay, Oahu based Shark Conservationist

iKoast presented alongside other individuals developing sustainable solutions to reduce the likelihood of shark incidents without government funding, like EcoShark Barrier.
Craig Moss from Eco Shark Barrier shared how his eco-friendly shark nets provide safe and secure swimming environment, for both humans and marine life. Nearly 70 per cent of Coogee beachgoers said they chose to visit Coogee specifically because of the enclosure and felt safer! While they were taken down this week as its trial comes to an end fingers crossed the Cockburn council vote on keeping it there permanently!
Other suggestions at the forum included:
- Magnetic and electric deterrents
- Utilisation of current technology such as drones
- Educating the community on shark behaviour reducing shark incidents. (Hence the Sharksmart website fail)

Here's to hoping this is the last we see of WA's cull policy and hearing us out on community alternatives!

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