Australian gov't mulls shark cull after new shark attack

Source: Xinhua| 2017-04-19 10:21:49|Editor: Zhang Dongmiao
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CANBERRA, April 19 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government has not ruled out a shark cull in response to another surfer death off the coast of Western Australia, the nation's environment minister said on Wednesday.

Laeticia Brouwer, 17, died on Monday when a great white shark mauled her near the small city of Esperance. She is Western Australia's 15th victim of a great white shark attack in the last 20 years.

In response to the death, Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said protecting human life had to come "first and foremost."

He told the West Australian newspaper that the government would "welcome" any plan that members of the public have to lower the risk of injury or death while in the surf.

"In light of the recent shark attack the (federal government) would welcome any proposal to protect human life first and foremost," Frydenberg said.

The minister said options include culling the sharks responsible for ending human life, introducing hooked drumline technology or any "other measures which Western Australia sees fit."

Western Australia has previously employed drumline technology to cull sharks. In 2014, a controversial, 200-km drumline was introduced along a stretch of coastline often used by humans.

The plan came under fire from environmentalists and marine conservationists as they were deemed to be cruel.

Western Australia is one of the nation's biggest hot spots for fatal shark attacks. Of the 24 known shark attack deaths which have occurred in the last 100 years, 14 have occurred in the last 13 years - including two within a week in June 2016.