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Josh Frydenberg - Liberal for Kooyong
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 Media Releases
CSIRO report confirms more sharks in the west

Published: Friday, 9 February 2018

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CSIRO has released ground-breaking, world-class research that confirms preliminary findings announced in December on great white shark population estimates in Australia, indicating there are more of the species in the west compared to the east.

The CSIRO research indicates the current adult population in eastern Australia is around 750 great white sharks (range: 470 to 1,030), with a survival rate of 93 per cent year-to-year.

Whereas, the southern-western population is estimated to have around 1,460 adult great white sharks (range: 760-2,250), with a survival rate above 90 per cent year-to-year.

“These latest results from a ground-breaking CSIRO study of great white shark numbers show there are more of the species in the west compared to the east,” Minister Frydenberg said.

“These results, along with the high number of fatal shark attacks in Western Australia, make a compelling case for the West Australian Government to take a more proactive approach to protect the public from shark attacks.

“The primacy of public safety is non-negotiable. That is why the Commonwealth continues to call on the West Australian Government to take stronger action to protect its citizens.”

The Queensland and New South Wales governments have had in place extensive measures to manage sharks for a number of years.

In Queensland, they have had a shark control program since 1962 which today extends to 85 beaches and includes nets and drumlines. Queensland has had only one fatality at a protected beach in more than half a century.

In New South Wales, they have had mesh nets at more than 50 beaches with no fatalities at a protected beach since 1951. While more recently, New South Wales has also started using SMART drum lines as a non-lethal means to protect the public with great effect.

“It is time the Western Australian Government took considered, proportionate and effective action which, based on the experiences of New South Wales and Queensland, can save lives,” Minister Frydenberg said.

The CSIRO study of great white sharks population numbers was undertaken under the National Environmental Science Program using world class genetic research and data techniques.

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