Coastal councils follow Cottesloe lead to ban shark baiting at beaches

Stock image.
Stock image.

COASTAL councils are joining Cottesloe to clamp down on recreational fishers targeting sharks by throwing blood, fish guts and pieces as berley from beaches.

“The City’s beach inspectors patrol Scarborough, Brighton and Trigg beaches on a daily basis as part of their regular beach patrols, from 6am,” City of Stirling recreation and leisure services manager Simone Pastor said

“And during these patrols, beach inspectors have spoken to fishers about their responsibilities when it comes to the cleaning of fish and the disposal of any offal.”

It is an offence in Stirling to throw fish offal into the sea and despite no incidents reported, the City’s early- morning patrols will continue until the end of this month.

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Cottesloe’s clampdown came after an alleged confrontation last month between residents and shark fishers using heavy tackle and a kayak to disperse berley at night at North Cottesloe Beach.

Cottesloe Mayor Jo Dawkins said fishing for sharks on Cottesloe’s beaches was illegal and would not be tolerated.

A local law from 2012 says no person can fish for sharks or use blood to lure the large fish to baits.

Cottesloe is sensitive to the threat of sharks after fatal attacks killed swimmers Bryn Martin off Cottesloe Beach in 2011 and Ken Crew off North Cottesloe Beach in 2006.

A recent boom in shark beach fishing has created a fear that potentially dangerous sharks will be attracted closer to swimmers.

Social media exist promoting shark fishing along the metropolitan coast and there have been reports of fish offal and carcases being found near popular swimming spots.

Town of Cambridge chief executive Jason Buckley said rangers would now enforce laws prohibiting berley to bring sharks within 200m of beaches.

Mr Buckley said while the council was not aware of confrontations between the public and shark fishers on its City and Floreat beaches, a report recently made about people fishing for sharks would be investigated.

Beach shark fishing using berley can be reported to police on 131 444.