Western Australia issues order to kill great white shark

Media Release

Department of Fisheries, Western Australia

Monday 7 January 2013


Fisheries Officers target shark threat in South West

Department of Fisheries officers have set shark capture gear in the State’s south west after repeated shark sightings indicated there was an imminent threat to water users in the popular beach, surfing and diving areas around Bunker Bay.

Department of Fisheries Regional Manager Metro, Tony Cappelluti said there had been multiple shark sightings in the waters off Dunsborough including at Quindalup, Bunker Bay and Meelup for over a week.

Mr Cappelluti said the unprecedented shark activity around the south west over the Christmas and New Year period meant the State Government’s policy for sharks posing an imminent threat was being met.

Some of the key factors considered under the policy guidelines included the following;

High Hazard

  • White sharks are a species with a history of attacking people and have been involved with most fatal attacks in Western Australia.
  • In addition to a multitude of sightings in the south west, there has been at least one confirmed sighting of a 3-4m shark recorded everyday around Dunsborough (i.e. between Bunker Bay and Quindalup) since Thursday 27 December.
  • The only exceptions were Monday 31 December, (when sightings were recorded at Injidup Point, Gracetown and Margaret River) and Friday 4 January when the large swell and poor water visibility made sightings particularly difficult.
  • All sightings have been identified as a white shark or unknown species, with most sightings confirmed by Surf Life Saving WA or Fisheries officers.

High Risk

  • The sightings have occurred at various depths, with numerous sightings in shallow water including some as close as 20m from shore.
  • The sightings have all occurred within proximity of popular swimming beaches during daylight hours.
  • Many people have been frequenting the beaches during the current holiday period with warm temperatures and winds from the south west making Dunsborough beaches more sheltered than beaches between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin.

Mr Cappelluti said measures to negate the threat of shark attack have been taken following sightings.

“These measures have included beach closures, additional helicopter surveillance, reporting of sightings, and on water surveillance; however it is recognised that there are many areas in the region which are not patrolled, and this has contributed to the action taken over the past few days.

“The repeated confirmed sightings and pattern of behaviour during the peak holiday season is particularly concerning.

“Therefore an order was issued for Department of Fisheries staff to set hooks and lines with a view to catching and destroying a white shark if a confirmed shark sighting occurred.

“The department has had two vessels on the waters around Dunsborough with the capacity to set hooks and lines.  The larger vessel (the PV Hamelin) has the capacity to retrieve and destroy a shark if required.

The Department of Fisheries is working closely with SLSWA, the Department for Environment and Conservation and local authorities.

Mr Cappelluti said it was important the community continued to report shark sightings to the Water Police on 9442 8600.

Source: Department of Fisheries, Western Australia


14. January 2013  Imminent threat order near Dunsborough rescinded





  1. Mark

    I’m just so taken aback by this nonsense. We have to kill the shark in it’s home so we can “play” in it’s home.  This is just another example of the pure arrogance of humans.  Why not stay out of the water in these situations?  Its all about the money, the tourist dollars. What about the sanctity of life?  I don’t want so see a GWS attack or kill a human at all but at the cost of the gws’s life is unacceptable. 

    • Angel

      Well Said Mark.
      I agree %100 with every word.
      If someone is in position to see the shark, just close the beach. You save the shark and protect the swimmers at the same time.
      Kill the shark to protect the swimmers makes no sense.
      You can’t not kill all the GWS in WA that are spotted for ever !!
      Where does it end ?
      Playing God for pleasure… Killing a protected animal…
      Lets kill all the lions, tigers, hippos, wolfs… Better lets kill them all.
      The ignorance of mankind is beyond understanding…

    • Alicia

      I can’t believe they are going to kill that amazing creature. Bears – don’t go in the woods, sharks – don’t go into the ocean – etc. Jaws ruined me for the ocean! I learned long ago to stay out of it. We kill them because they come into what we consider our area. Maybe they eat people in retaliation! Good for them – 
      There are so many animals on the planet that can kill people,  stay out of their areas! @&$^$%#^#& BS! Maybe they will protest over there. Surely they have animal activists in Australia? 

  2. Bender

    Dear Assholes –

    So let me get this straight. You are going to kill a miracle of
    nature because it is doing nothing more than swimming in it’s natural
    territory where people want to “play”? Can you grasp how ridiculous
    that sounds?

    These animals haven’t even harmed a human yet, and you a are going to
    take them out. Every single person that gets attacked, loses a limb,
    or has to face one of these creatures and lives to tell the story –
    they all say they accept responsibility and they UNDERSTAND the risk
    they take by entering the ocean. ESPECIALLY in your part of the world
    where they are knowingly swimming where great whites hunt!!! Even the
    victims families of fatal attacks say the person killed by the shark
    would want no retribution.


    Get fucked.

    Yours Truly,


    • Alicia

      Exactly Bender! I didn’t think of that – people KNOW the risks. Surfers etc, are willing to accept the consequences, and do. I have never heard a shark attack victim say that the shark was to blame. This is a creature that sees something to eat and it does. it isn’t premeditated, it isn’t personal. We think we own the ocean like everything else. People are selfish and stupid.  
      Dump stupid those butt holes in the ocean. Feed the sharks, clean the gene pool. Problem solved. 

  3. kli

    killing animals that kill people is perfectly reasonable.

  4. Why just don’t they not swim in the Ocean uneil the sharks go away.

  5. Alex

    Land was once full of predators of human until humans developed ‘safe zones’.  Humans as animals have the capacity to go into the shores of the ocean for feeding and recreation as do a number of other mainly land species.  Creating ‘safe zones’ in the shores that we use is sensible, culling would be a primitive way of doing it, another more progressive way would be the development and implementation of technologies that help to keep humans and sharks apart in the waters.  

    • Angel

      Well said Alex.
      We need ways to stop people and shark interactions without killing,
      I am sure with all this advanced technology we will figure out ways in a short time.
      Until that time both humans and sharks are at risk.

Leave a Reply