Figuring out numbers

Aiden BoyhamSound Telegraph

The shark dilemma has continued to rage, with a report from the CSIRO confirming shark numbers off the coast of WA were higher than in the Eastern States.

The report from the CSIRO, which highlighted there were almost 1500 sharks in WA waters, comes on the back of a report from the Telegraph in January which found Point Peron was a hotspot for shark detections.

The popular Rockingham coastal spot had recorded eight shark sightings up to early January, making it the highest in the metropolitan area according to figures released by Surf Life Saving WA.

More recently, a number of sharks were detected at beacons across waters in Rockingham, with Secret Harbour beach also closed on February 12 after a sighting.

Surf Lifesaving WA’s drone patrol spotted an unidentified 2m shark swimming about 500m offshore before it closed the beach.

On the back of the CSIRO’s report, debate on the issue has been fierce, with Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly stating WA beachgoers were at no more risk than east coast swimmers.

Mr Kelly rejected claims from Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg that lethal measures were needed to lower the population of white sharks in order to protect the public.

Mr Frydenberg noted 15 people had been killed by sharks in WA in the past 17 years, a figure higher than any other Australian State.

Greens South West Region MLC Diane Evers said rather than being a shark capital; per kilometre there were fewer great white sharks off WA’s coastline than the east coast.

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