06 September 2005

Australia: Calls for shark culls rejected

The Primary Industries Department in South Australia has rejected calls for a shark cull in waters around Port Lincoln.

Yesterday, shark attack survivor Jake Heron said numbers of the protected great white species should be reduced, claiming the region's aquaculture industry, coupled with the protection of the species, has led to more sharks in the area.

But PIRSA Fisheries director Will Zacharin says there is no scientific data to support such claims.

"Sharks have only been protected in Australian waters now for nine or 10 years and it takes about six to seven years for a white shark female to become mature, so it's fairly unlikely that there's been a sudden increase in the population," he said.

Mr Zacharin says sharks travel enormous distances and it is difficult to determine their numbers in a particular area.

"We know some sharks tagged in South Australian waters end up in South Africa and New Zealand so to try and predict whether there's been an increase in numbers, or where these sharks are going to or coming from, we just don't know enough about their migration patterns," he said.

Source: www.abc.net.au


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