Search is on for 4m Great White Shark seen stalking popular Aussie beach

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-08 12:20:10|Editor: ZX
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SYDNEY, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- The hunt for a giant four-meter shark that has been terrorizing a popular Aussie beach over the past week will continue on Wednesday, after marine authorities introduced new baited drum lines in the area.

Believed to be a Great White Shark, the predator has been spotted several times in recent days at the Gold Coast's Palm Beach, even ending up in a widely-circulated photo with a surfer in the foreground.

Although the beach does have permanent shark nets, on this occasion the animal appears to have slipped through the webbing.

Just days after a scuba diver was killed by a shark in Western Australia, the Queensland State Government said they would not be taking any chances when it comes to the safety of beachgoers, ordering six baited drum lines be set up 400 meters off Palm Beach.

"When we get that information we have to act, and they've acted quickly," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters.

"The drumlines will be in place as long as they need to be."

"Human life is absolutely paramount."

A highly sensitive subject in the Sunshine State, a Federal Court recently ruled that all baited drum lines must be removed from certain areas across the Great Barrier Reef, citing concerns over marine conservation.

But with the Gold Coast area excluded from the marine park zone, authorities are free to target the shark if needed.

However Queensland Shark Control Program manager Michael Mickitis is hopeful the animal will not be harmed.

"We're hoping the shark actually moves off of its own accord," he said.

"Obviously the other alternative is that we catch the shark."

"We'll be assessing the situation everyday and we'll remove the drumlines as soon as the immediate risk has passed. We do everything we can to try and minimize the by-catch including deterrents and alarms on the nets, and alternatives baits on the drumlines."

"We have trained people that go and release those animals as quickly as possible."