Town of Cottesloe to combat illegal fishing for sharks on beaches

Stock image.
Stock image.

COTTESLE council is clamping down on illegal recreational fishing for sharks on its beaches.

“Fishing for sharks at Cottesloe Beach is illegal and will not be tolerated,” Mayor Jo Dawkins said.

Enforcing the council’s law comes after a recent confrontation between residents and shark fishers who were using heavy tackle and a kayak to disperse berley at night at North Cottesloe Beach.

There are also social media pages promoting shark fishing along the metropolitan coast, including at Cottesloe Groyne where fish offal and carcases have been found.

Cottesloe’s local law 2012 says no person can fish for sharks or use blood to lure them to bait.

The boom in shark beach fishing has created fear the animals will be attracted closer to swimmers.

“The Town of Cottesloe has put additional rangers on patrol and has extended the time they are on duty to monitor the beach for illegal fishing,” Mrs Dawkins said.

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

Former Cottesloe surfer and Greens Senator Peter Wish-Wilson is now finalising his Senate inquiry into the shark threat and attack deterrents across Australia.

Greens WA MLC Lynn MacLaren said the inquiry should produce a meaningful, science-based report and recommendations after WA’s “disastrous” shark cull in 2014.

“If there was any silver lining to the capture of 170 tiger sharks, two mako sharks and stingrays on the drum lines in WA in 2014, it was that the WA public learnt a huge amount about which species of shark are the real danger, when and in what circumstances risks are higher, and genuine options for mitigating those risks,” Ms MacLaren said.

Public submissions to the inquiry can address issues including shark numbers, behaviour and habitat, killing of potentially threatening sharks using Federal law, and shark attacks impacts on tourism.

Submission information is www.aph.gov.au.

Illegal shark fishing in Cottesloe should be reported to rangers on 9285 5070 or police on 131 444.