100 scientists unite to oppose WA shark cull

The Australian Greens have called on the WA Government to abandon its shark cull policy as community opposition continues to grow.

An open letter to the WA Government co-signed by 100 scientists has been published today by Support our Sharks and calls for non-lethal measures to protect beach-goers, along with a greater investment in research and monitoring.

"Community opposition to the WA Government's plan to cull sharks through measures like drum lines has been increasing since it was announced," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens marine spokesperson said today.

"Today, the science community has again highlighted the need for a strong, evidence based approach to policy making that does not rely on the killing vulnerable species, pointing out the flaws in this approach and the risk it poses to our environment.

"Like thousands of West Australians, I am looking to spending some time at the beach and in the water over the Christmas break. Over the last few weeks the overwhelming feeling from West Australians is one of concern about the WA Government's approach. People want to feel safe, but also understand the importance of protecting our marine environment and vulnerable species.

"During the last sitting of Parliament I presented a petition from more than 16,000 people calling for protection for great whites and investments in research. That petition now has more than 35,000 signatures and is continuing to grow.

"Rather than culling, we need renewed investment in research to better under sharks, their numbers and their behaviours, in order to develop evidence based, non-lethal methods to mitigate any threats they pose.

"The community is sending a clear message to the WA and Federal Governments, and they need to pay attention," Senator Siewert concluded.

The Open Letter is available online: http://tiny.cc/kdsi8w