Images have emerged of two undersized tiger sharks caught on the Barnett Government’s controversial bait lines dead or injured as they were released off Perth beaches. Photo: Andy Corbe, Neil Henderson, Blair Randford Images have emerged of two undersized tiger sharks caught on the Barnett Government’s controversial bait lines dead or injured as they were released off Perth beaches. Photo: Andy Corbe, Neil Henderson, Blair Randford
Another image of an undersized tiger shark which was caught on a baited drum line and ‘released’. Photo: Andy Corbe, Neil Henderson, Blair Randford
Images have emerged of two undersized tiger sharks caught on the Barnett Government’s controversial bait lines dead or injured as they were released off Perth beaches.
The footage was taken on Wednesday morning by activists monitoring Perth’s five drum lines and show a 2.7m tiger shark falling to the bottom of the ocean after it was ‘released’ at Trigg beach.
A second small shark is filmed being released with a massive cut to its throat off Floreat Beach.
Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said she doubted the second shark would survive with such a large wound.
On Tuesday, drum line statistics released by the government showed that since February 1, 66 sharks have been caught on drum lines in WA.
Almost 50 were ‘small’ or under three metres in length, nine were found dead and 40 were let go ‘alive’, according to the government data.
But Ms MacLaren has labelled the figure misleading, saying that she believed many of the released sharks would not survive after being hooked.
“We have other still images of how the hooks are being taken out of the sharks and in particular quite a few bloody images of how the fisherman down south is cutting into the jaw and obviously damaging the shark beyond its ability to survive.”
A spokesman with the Department of Premier and Cabinet said fisheries crews priority is to attempt to release a shark as soon as possible, to enhance the animal’s chances of survival.
“Some 82 per cent of the under-three-metre sharks caught to date have been successfully released,” the spokesman said.
“The catch, handling and point of release balances conservation of the shark with public safety.”
At the start of the month, WAtoday reported that observers with conservation group Animal Amnesty filmed an under-size shark sinking after being caught off Dunsborough.
The allegation was denied by the fisherman involved.
On Tuesday, Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said the catch data shows the methods used by crew are working well at a time when beaches are very crowded.
“We believe the hook-and-bait systems we are using are successfully targeting larger sharks and not other fish species, and I commend the crews who have been diligent in releasing as many caught sharks as possible,” Mr Baston said.
Ms Maclaren said she intended to ask Mr Baston in parliamentary question time on Wednesday afternoon how many animals he thought had survived being caught and released.
“At the end of the day we are really questioning whether this policy is achieving anything at all,” Ms MacLaren said.
“The small sharks that they are catching, they are all tiger sharks, none are the sharks that have been involved in fatalities and the drum lines may well be attracting larger predators attracted to the smaller injured animals.” Follow WAtoday on Twitter
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