Stab Magazine | WA Surf Contest Called off: Too Many Sharks

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WA Surf Contest Called off: Too Many Sharks

“We’ve got no option but to err on the side of caution.”

news // Aug 27, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Western Australia School Surfing Titles had to be called off yesterday due to an unprecedented number of shark sightings in the area. More than 100 young surfers from 28 of the state’s schools were set to fight for the title at Trigg Beach on Friday morning when organisers made the decisive call, reported local media outlet Perth Now. It was only recently that shark sightings in the area made headlines when photographer Rick Knoppert captured the intense moment four unsuspecting surfers were intimately confronted with a fin at Waterman’s Beach, just around from where the contest was to be held.

“We’ve got no option but to err on the side of caution,” said Mark Lane, Surfing WA’s Chief Exec. Rightly so, the Department Of Fisheries stating that since early June they had 61 shark sightings reported, the last thing anyone wants is another 2015 J-Bay final.

Shark In Lineup

How to clear a lineup. Photo: Rick Knoppert.

It was reported that the Department of Fisheries had set baited drum lines in the area on Thursday afternoon in response to pressure from locals, which closed locals beaches and sparked controversy. Greens MP Lynn MacLaren accused Department of breaching its own guidelines by establishing shark capture gear off Perth’s northern beaches in response to the sightings. She said serious threat guidelines stated that capture gear should be deployed for sharks three metres or longer in length and for great white, tiger or bull sharks, not the smaller bronze whaler species that had mostly been sighted in this case. 

The event has been postponed for a few weeks in the hope that sightings decrease.

 

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