Sharks already caught on the controversial baited drumlines set by Western Australia’s state government are attracting other sharks, as many suspected.
According to WA Today, a spokesman from the Department of Premier and Cabinet confirmed that other sharks are attacking and biting sharks that are caught on the drumlines.
“Both the fishing contractor in the SW and the fisheries’ crews are reporting minor evidence of bites on sharks caught on the lines, probably from other sharks,” he said.
The strongly disputed policy resulted from an effort to reduce shark attacks off the coast of Western Australia by baiting and killing any bull, tiger, or great white sharks larger than three meters, or around ten feet. Any sharks caught within one kilometer from certain parts of the coast that meet the size and species requirement are shot and discarded at sea by contracted fishermen or fisheries officers.
Although the spokesman didn’t state how exactly many of the sharks on the drumlines were attacked, he did admit to at least two incidents.
Recently, a shark expert from Perth confirmed that, in his opinion, baited hooks could be attracting sharks closer to shore than they might otherwise venture, the state government disagreed in a statement that seems to contradict itself slightly.
“The drumline baits will only attract sharks that are in the general area anyway,” the spokesman from the DPC said.
He continued on to say that the scent of the bait used can be detected to a distance of a few hundred meters, depending on a variety of factors including ocean conditions and currents.
Sharks, according to an expert named Hugh Edwards, are attracted to stress signals emitted by creatures in distress, as well as blood. Sharks left on hooks often drown, emitting both the stress signals and blood.