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Wednesday, 28 February 2018
Page: 2259

Mr HASTIE (Canning) (13:50): A recent study by the CSIRO found the south-west coast of Australia, which includes Western Australia, is home to 1,460 adult great white sharks. By contrast, there are only 750 adult great white sharks on the east coast, half the number of those in the south-west. This report confirms that WA is the shark capital of Australia, yet in his response to the report the WA Labor fisheries minister, Dave Kelly, didn't acknowledge that WA has more than double the number of great whites of the east. Why won't the WA fisheries minister acknowledge that WA is more home to great whites than the east coast is?

If he can't acknowledge even the facts of the report, we can't expect him to come up with decent policy solutions. WA Labor have been flat-footed on this issue. Their shark mitigation strategy is limited to personal deterrence and drones. Personally, I support the reintroduction of commercial shark fishing, which would sustainably reduce great white numbers over time. We already manage other fish stocks this way, so why should great whites be different? I call on the WA Labor fisheries minister, Dave Kelly, to acknowledge the facts, stop talking and start acting. With 15 fatal shark attacks in the last 17 years, it's time to consider all options.