Instead of Culling, Australian Government Turns to Research to Protect Sharks & Swimmers

posted: 08/17/15
by: Danny Clemens
Tagged grey reef shark. Richard Fitzpatrick in back.
Caterina Gennaro

Australian government officials have announced a $250,000 shark tagging and monitoring campaign aimed at protecting both swimmers and sharks.

In addition to tagging and research efforts, the program also funds the deployment of boats to monitor conditions around local beaches, keeping an eye on circumstances that could potentially bring sharks close to the shore. A public education campaign will inform beachgoers about safely sharing the ocean with marine wildlife.

"What this announcement does is provides a measured, scientific-based approach to protect those communities and to allow all of us to do what we love doing and that's go to the beach," Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair told ABC News.

"Let's not forget the ocean is the domain of the shark."

The announcement follows last week's controversial call for shark culling, which government officials rejected. Marine biologists and conservationists widely panned the idea as short-sighted, ineffective and harmful to federally protected sharks.

"Indiscriminately culling sharks is dangerous to marine ecosystems, not to mention expensive and futile. We would be far better off allocating resources to achieving a greater understanding of the ecology and behaviour of these large predator," writes Jane Williamson, Macquarie University Associate Professor in Marine Ecology.

Relive one of our favorite moments from Shark Week 2015:

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A Rare Longfin Mako in Cuban Waters

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