After a series of fatal shark attacks, Australia’s humans are set to strike back, preparing for a federally-granted cull of protected Great White sharks.
While warning that swimmers are ultimately responsible for risks they take in the ocean, Australia Environment Minister Greg Hunt waved protections earlier this month, citing rising shark attacks, public safety, and tourism as reasons why the cull is “of national interest.”
Seven people have been killed in shark attacks in the last three years, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The U.K.’s Guardian newspaper reports that Western Australia’s tourism industry is worth $8.5 billion.
Cull is a member of the conservative Liberal Party, which came to power this year after public backlash against a carbon tax imposed by the progressive Labor Party.
For a limited time, Hunt’s ruling exempts the state, as well as “those acting on behalf of the state of Western Australia,” from laws protecting the sharks. It also calls for “the setting up of 72 baited drum lines each with a single approximately size 25/0 hook, in Western Australia state waters.”
Conservationists have opposed the plan, arguing that people shouldn’t kill sharks.