Calls for drumlines to kill 'aggressive' sharks after attacks in WA

Calls for drumlines to kill 'aggressive' sharks after attacks in WA

The renewed demand comes after Andrew Sharpe was taken by a suspected five-metre white shark while surfing at the notorious Kelp Beds in Wylie Bay, in Esperance, in WA’s south on Friday morning.

Mr Sharpe, 52, was in the water with several other people at the time but they could not save him.

His damaged surfboard washed up and after a three-day search only two pieces of wetsuit were recovered, so authorities called off the search with the blessing of Mr Sharpe’s family.

Esperance Ocean Safety and Support Group chairman Mitch Capelli said the concerned community was again calling for a clear plan of action from the state government in the event of an “aggressive shark attack”.

“People are dying and more needs to be done to support our community,” Mr Capelli said in a statement.

“This should not be our reality. We must learn from our mistakes and mitigate our shark problem before more tragedies occur.”

The group wants lethal drumlines to be deployed immediately after an attack to remove the “problem animal”.

“We believe that there is no lack of scientific evidence to support this course of action given that we know sharks return to the same location,” Mr Capelli said.

“This type of event will continue to happen, with history repeating itself unless we have a clear plan of immediate action intended to reduce future risk.

“Our thoughts go out to the family, as well as those surfers witnessing the recent horrific shark attack.”

Premier Mark McGowan has previously ruled out deploying drumlines.

WA Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley will meet with the grieving community later on Monday.

Kelp Beds is a popular surf break and is where Laeticia Brouwer, 17, was fatally bitten on the leg while surfing with her dad in April 2017.

Surfer Sean Pollard was also mauled at Wylie Bay in 2014, losing his right hand and left arm, but he survived.

In January, experienced diver Gary Johnson was taken by a shark near Cull Island, close to West Beach in Esperance.