Sea Shepherd Australia reports that in the early hours of yesterday morning the fisherman hired to perform what it calls Western Australian premier Colin Barnett’s dirty work of killing protected species, went out to check drum lines as part of the new shark cull program off the Western Australian Coast.
Jeff Hansen, managing director, Sea Shepherd Australia, says:
“As each drum line was checked, it was found to be empty, however on the last drum line the fisherman found a beautiful 3 metre plus female tiger shark. Its difficult to tell how much pain she would have been in for up to 12 hours with Barnett’s brutal hook through her mouth. She was then brought alongside the boat by the fisherman and shot four times in the head before she finally died. She was then guttered and then dragged out to sea and dumped at sea as a means to hide Barnett’s dirty work from the world. It was a cruel, painful and unnecessary death.
If this is the way that we treat our Australian battlers that work tirelessly to maintain the balance in our oceans, the health and integrity of humanities life support systems, then on this Australia day I am ashamed to be Australian.
How can we condemn Japan for the indiscriminate killing of whales and dolphins and do this to our precious protected marine life here in Australia? This method is utterly cruel and inhumane and these animals can take many hours to die.
The tiger shark is a solitary, mostly nocturnal hunter, with a diet ranging from crustaceans, fish, birds, seals, turtles, squid and sea snakes. Males reach sexual maturity at 2.3 metres to 2.9 metres and females at 2.5 to 3.5 metres. Females mate around once every 3 years with young developing inside the mothers body for up to 16 months, with litters ranging from 10 to 82 pups. Pups are around 50 cm at birth and are vulnerable to predation. Tiger sharks are on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, listed as Near Threatened and don’t live that long (over 12 years). Given that they don’t reproduce every year and have only a few pups that make it to maturity and given that they are listed as near threatened due to finning, the targeting of large breeding sized tiger sharks by the Barnett Government is without a doubt a cull. There is no other way to look at this.
Sea Shepherd Australia is also questioning the competency of the fisherman as he has been adamant that the shark he caught was in fact a Bull shark, however a number of shark experts and researchers, including Blair Ranford has confirmed the species as a Tiger shark.
See on www.maritime-executive.com