Government officials off of Australia’s western Indian coast will pre-emptively hunt and kill great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) that “pose a threat” to swimmers under a newly approved plan that is designed to protect swimmers. According to a Reuters news report, that region of Australia recorded five beachgoer fatalities in 2011 that the government attributes to the white shark. The shark has been designated a protective species for more than 10 years in Australia but the spate of attacks has caused the government to initiate this new scheme. We will always put the lives and safety of beachgoers ahead of the shark, Western Australian state Premier Colin Barnett was quoted in the Reuters report. This is, after all, a fish – let’s keep it in perspective, he said.
If a shark is found to be close to beachgoers, authorities will catch and kill the shark. The government is also going to step up beach patrols and will purchase more jet skis for its lifeguards and will fund more helicopter patrols, the report said.