Australia Implements the ‘Captain Quint’ Strategy for Large Sharks Near Beaches

by Greg Pollowitz

Sharks longer than 3 metres that get near popular beaches in Western Australia will be caught, shot and dumped back into the sea, in a series of measures aimed at reducing public anxiety over attacks.

Details of the WA government’s controversial “shark management” strategy have been released, with sharks bigger than 3 metres singled out for shooting and then discarding offshore.

A tender released by the government calls for an “experienced licensed commercial fishing organisation” to deploy and maintain up to 72 drum lines off popular beaches in Perth and elsewhere along the south-west coast.

The drum lines, containing a hook with bait on them, will catch and, eventually, kill passing sharks that come within 1km of the beach.

Should a live white shark, tiger shark or bull shark longer than 3 metres be found on the drum lines, they will be “humanely destroyed” with a firearm, according to the tender documents.

Shark corpses will be then tagged and taken further out to sea and dumped. Other animals caught on the baited hooks will be released alive “where possible”.

The drum lines will be patrolled by boats for 12 hours a day, seven days a week, until April. Only contractors’ vessels will be allowed within a 50-metre exclusion zone set up around the drum lines.

The state government said the tender was a “direct response” to the “unprecedented” number of shark attacks off the WA coast. Surfer Chris Boyd, 35, was killed following a shark attack in November, becoming the sixth swimmer or surfer to die from shark-inflicted injuries in the past two years. . .