172 sharks caught in controversial trial in Australia

Some 172 sharks have been snared in a controversial shark baiting trial off the coast of Western Autralia, of which 50 were shot dead.

The largest shark caught was on February 22 this year. Credit: AP Images

Some 111 of the sharks were caught on drumlimes swimming near Perth's beaches, whilst the rest were snared off the south west coast.

Fifty were bigger than three metres - the size deemed dangerous to humans, and therefore destroyed.

Twenty sharks, 14 of them under three metres, were found dead on baited hooks. Ninety sharks were tagged and released.

Western Australia's state government wants to extend the programme for three years.

Fisheries minister Ken Baston said: "The human toll from shark attacks in recent years has been too high.

"While of course we will never know if any of the sharks caught would have harmed a person, this government will always place greatest value on human life, and I am pleased that these measures working in tandem with our research have gone some way to restoring confidence among beachgoers."