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Saving sharks in Oz: Planned cull sparked outrage

Staff at the Brighton Sea Life Centre are outraged at plans in Australia to cull sharks, in an attempt to improve safety for beach goers.

The Government of Western Australia has announced the multi-million dollar plan, which includes setting baited hooks off beaches around Perth.

After seven fatal shark attacks in three years, the cull has not gone down well around the world.

The curator at the Sea Life Centre, Carey Duckhouse said:

Apart from the fact that many shark species are already on the brink of extinction due to over fishing and decades of persecution, the proposed solution to Perth's shark-attack problem is more likely to exacerbate than to solve it.

They want to attach lines and baited hooks to drums a mile off-shore and pay commercial fishermen to patrol them and kill any captured shark over three metres long.

That could include Great Whites, which are a protected species and in sharp decline, as well as species like Tiger and Bull sharks.

– Carey Duckhouse, Curator at Brighton Sea Life Centre

Anyone who would like to register their opposition to the proposed cull can do so by clicking here.

Sharks meet fish for first time!

Three blacknose sharks that were born in captivity - have seen fish for the first time! They were introduced to a reef display tank at Weymouth Sea Life Park on Monday. They were born in the United States, where they were kept in a quarantine tank.

The species is considered 'near-threatened' in the wild. The park hopes that the sharks' appearance will help raise awareness of the threats faced by all shark species and increase support for conservation.

Talking about her three new charges, Curator Fiona Smith said: "They were born in captivity in the US and from birth were kept in a quarantine tank with just each other for company. They have that classic sleek silvery profile most people expect sharks to have, but are no threat to humans.

"We're really excited to be giving these three their public debut here in Weymouth and they look fantastic... They have spent the last few months in another quarantine tank at Weymouth, so were probably convinced it was just them and a few kindly humans in the whole world."


'Sharks need friends' say conservationists

Sharks at the Sea Life Centre Credit: PA

A Sussex aquarium is mounting a charm offensive on behalf of the "much-maligned and misunderstood" shark.

Brighton Sea Life Centre will be holding "shark weeks" from October 20th to November 4th.

Visitors will be deluged with facts about the oceans’ apex predators, and urged to lend their support to vital conservation efforts.

Marine expert Carey Duckhouse said: "With anything between 70 and 100 million sharks being killed every year, many species face a real threat of oblivion.

"The common perception of sharks as mindless man-eaters doesn’t help their cause and, frankly, it couldn’t be further from the truth.

The European Parliament is currently debating whether all sharks caught should be landed with their fins intact, rather than lopped off out at sea and the bodies discarded.

“Having to bring the whole shark back would mean fewer fins could be landed, and since the rest of the shark is worth much less than the fins this would massively reduce finning,” added Carey.

“The ultimate goal, however, has to be to end this trade completely."