Great White Shark Evades Capture Off Australia

The shark was deemed a threat to public safety, though opponents of the order have criticised its validity.

Australian authorities have failed so far in their efforts to kill a great white shark off Warnbro Beach, deploying baited drumlines for the third day in a row as the predator continues to evade capture.

The shark was detected on Saturday, according to the ABC, after lurking within a kilometer of the shore over the last several weeks. Authorities failed to land the shark, however, and their capture gear was pulled from the water, to be redeployed only if the great white appeared again. In the early morning hours of Sunday, a government operated shark tracking system registered the great white, and the drumlines were deployed. They came out of the water around 5 p.m. on Sunday, having failed once more to kill the shark, according to Perth Now.

The shark has lingered in the area off Warnbro since late November, as the Inquisitr previously reported. After the great white was detected near shore over the course of consecutive days, a catch and kill order was issued for the predator, prompting the Department of Fisheries to deploy their capture gear.

Under Australian law, white sharks are a protected species. The Greens, one of Australia’s political parties, have called on the government to rescind the order, fearing that it may set a dangerous precedent.

“If they do catch it and kill it, it will be the third shark under the agreement between the Commonwealth and the state on the imminent threat policy,” Greens senator Rachel Siewert noted. “The public has not seen any of the agreement yet, we haven’t seen the approval process or what the terms of the agreement are. It is entirely inappropriate for them to be using the tagged monitoring system to then target a shark and kill it. The Government is responding in an inappropriate manner and they need to rescind this order.”

Two boats containing protesters were also in the water during the hunt. Shark conservationist Blair Ranford questioned the government’s catch and kill order, observing that the great white likely remained in the area to feed on fish that are spawning in the sound.

“If someone had been attacked or if the shark had even been seen hard up against the shore day after day after day right where swimmers were, I still wouldn’t agree with it, but you could at least understand the reasoning or the feeling behind it a little more,” he noted. “But there is simply no justification for killing a shark at a natural feeding event. It defies logic.”

Mark McGowan, a WA Labor leader, also voiced his opposition to the catch and kill policy, questioning why anyone would want to kill a great white.

“How is it a risk to public safety if you know where it is?” he asked.

The Department of Fisheries had been monitoring the shark since it arrived in the area, yet only recently deemed the great white a threat to public safety, prompted by increased beach usage.

[Image: Watt Jim/Getty Images via the Times]