Focus should be on shark detection and prompt alerts, say conservationists

Conservation Council of Western Australia's Danielle Glenister. d412940
Conservation Council of Western Australia's Danielle Glenister. d412940

Conservation Council WA director Piers Verstegen said there was no evidence to show baiting would reduce attacks.

‘These have been tried before, the baited drum lines, and they’ve failed before, there was a review done by the Department of Fisheries that recommended against using baited drum lines because at the time they considered them to be ineffective and unlikely to work,’ Mr Verstegen said.

Mr Verstegen said more infrastructure needed to be put in place to help detect sharks and, in turn, notify the public in a more effective way.

‘I think having some infrastructure in place to warn beach users in particular locations when sharks are found would be much, much more effective.

‘In many cases it would be hours before boats are going to be mobilised and hooks are laid ” it’s very unlikely they’re going to catch the sharks anyway.’

Owner of swelsup.com, surfer and water photographer Peter Jovic said he was frustrated by methods used to alert surfers.

‘If there is something out there that’s a confirmed report, it’s no good that report going on Twitter when there’s a whole heap of people out in the surf that know nothing about it, so it would be nice if there were a visual system in place’