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Perth shark fishery to remain closed
2016-10-10 12:05:08 copyfrom： hits:
Shark capture landings. (Photo: Albert Caton/BRS/daff.gov.au)
Friday, October 10, 2016, 21:00 (GMT + 9)
West Australian Government has decided not to reopen Perth's commercial shark fishery following the recommendation received from the state's Department of Fisheries.
The announcement was made by Fisheries Minister Joe Francis, who pointed out the he took this decision after receiving the department's analysis, ABC informed.
"Reopening the metropolitan shark fishery (which was closed in 2007) is frequently touted as an indirect method of reducing white shark numbers and the risk of attacks. However, the evidence doesn't support this," he said in a statement.
In this regard, the minister stressed that a high proportion of attacks by white sharks in WA have occurred outside the metropolitan region where there are shark fisheries.
"White shark presence in the metropolitan waters is seasonal, therefore there would be only low levels of incidental capture if the fishery was reopened," he said.
Opposition fisheries spokesman Dave Kelly agreed the fishery should not be reopened, but was critical of the Government's handling of the issue.
In his view, shark mitigation is technically the responsibility of the Premier, out of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.
Meanwhile, the West Australian Shark Fishing Association said it believed the Minister's decision was politically motivated.
"It's got nothing to do with the stock sustainability issue," president Brian Scimone said, adding that shark numbers had built up due to a lack of fishing.
"Bring our quotas back into consideration for use and let us do us our job in a sustainable fishery. It's going to protect the public, it's going to give us a job, it's going to put food on the tables, it's going to do a whole lot of things," he claimed.
Scimone considers that opening the fishery for four months of the year would be sufficient to have an impact.
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