Video surfaced recently of the first shark being killed in Australia under the country’s new culling policy. It was incredibly hard to watch and had many people asking whether there were other options.
There are other options. In fact, there are many options that make much more sense. Western Australia’s government could take a page out of Brazil’s book. Currently, Brazil is using a catch-and-tow method to keep sharks from getting to close to its beaches. The Brazilian government teamed with scientists to capture, tag and release sharks that are swimming within two kilometers from the shore. Tiger, bull and hammerhead sharks are brought aboard a boat, tagged, then released about eight kilometers from shore. In practice since 2004, this option has decreased the shark attack rate in Brazil by a whopping 97 percent. Tagging and towing sharks further out to sea will prevent other endangered species from getting caught in the drum lines, keep endangered sharks alive and allow scientists to closely monitor migration patterns and habits.