Government prefers ignorance when killing sharks - Greens

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren has accused the Government of missing a key opportunity to gather evidence from a white shark killed off Mandurah earlier this month.

"In response to Greens' questions in Parliament tonight the Government has confirmed that the 4.2 metre white shark it killed off Mandurah on 2 June spent more three hours dying on a drumline and the Fisheries officers made no effort to examine the shark's stomach contents before they dumped it in the sea," Ms MacLaren said.

"We will never know if it was the same shark responsible for biting Mr Gerring and it seems the only opportunity for exploring that possibility or learning what food had attracted the shark to that area was deliberately missed.

"It's appalling that the rare opportunity for scientific study of a white shark of this size was tossed overboard. It shows a contempt for both wildlife and scientific endeavour and proves once again that
the killing had nothing to do with increasing human safety.

"The Government says the only evidence it collected from the shark was to measure its length and take tissue samples for genetic analysis.

"Yet an examination of the shark's stomach contents may have helped understand whether the shark was potentially the same shark that bit Mr Gerring as well as what food sources had drawn it into that area.

"It seems no evidence was collected on the shark's jaws and teeth spacing which in the past has been done as part of investigations following shark bite incidents.

"The Government also revealed that the shark spent more than three hours dying - it was first observed on the drumline at 2.30pm and it finally stopped moving at 5.45pm.

"This Government seems determined to remain as ignorant about great white sharks as possible rather than increase understanding about this species and how to manage the risk of encountering one."