Drum beats for research, shark detection ideas

Image: File photo.
Image: File photo.

Mr Dodd said the millions of dollars channelled into the shark mitigation policy could be better used in research.

‘Hopefully this time, with the EPA’s findings, the policy is ceased and hopefully all this money that we’ve put forward for the culling is maybe put forward for research,’ Mr Dodd said.

‘The oceans are a big place and we definitely need more research so then we know what’s happening and we can make an educated decision on things.’

The EPA handed down its recommendations last Thursday.

Chairman Paul Vogel said he did not have enough confidence in the strategy’s accuracy.

Dr Vogel said the EPA had concluded that there was a high degree of scientific uncertainty as to whether the proposal would protect marine fauna.

‘At this stage, the available information and evidence does not provide the EPA with a high level of confidence,’ Dr Vogel said.

‘In view of these uncertainties, the EPA has adopted a cautious approach by recommending against the proposal.’

Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) marine campaigner Tooni Mahto said she was pleased the EPA had acknowledged the significant threat the drumline program posed to threatened species.

‘The shark cull policy was flawed from the get-go, with no clear public safety outcomes, but with a heavy environmental cost,’ she said.

‘The WA Government has now been told in no uncertain terms to dump its lethal policy and work with viable alternatives.

‘The WA Government needs to continue to invest in alternatives, including early detection systems, enhanced surveillance, non-lethal barrier options and public education.’

The EPA can only make a judgment on the impact on the environment. The minister, in making his final decision, may take other matters into consideration.

Premier Colin Barnett said in State Parliament last Thursday he was not likely to challenge the EPA’s findings.