Shark attacks force Australia’s licence to kill

Rise in popularity of water sports partly to blame for attacks

Following a series of fatal shark attacks on Australia’s west coast this year, the order has been given to kill any sharks seen swimming too close to the beaches. A new Western Australia government package of measures worth Aus$6.85 million (US$7.12 million) designed to stop attacks includes a track, catch and destroy program and social media alerts. This should lead to “proactive action” as soon as a shark is spotted.
There have been five fatal attacks in the area over the past year. The most recent was in July, when a surfer was bitten in half near Wedge Island, north of Perth. In August, another surfer was mauled but escaped alive at Red Bluff. Most attacks in the region involve great whites. Some experts point to the increasing popularity of water sports for the rise in the number of attacks.