WA’s smart drum-line trial has hooked its second great white shark six months after the start of the controversial program.
The 3.3m white shark was tagged, relocated and released in a healthy condition about 3.45pm near Ellensbrook Beach south of Gracetown, 1km offshore.
The shark is the second great white to be caught as part of the State Government’s $3.84 million SMART drumline trial.
More than 60 sharks have been hooked since the start of the trial on February 21.
The drumline trial has seen ten baited hooks deployed along an 11km stretch of coast to the north of Margaret River.
Sharks are fitted with an acoustic tag before being dragged offshore and released.
The tag then triggers a monitoring system if it is detected by a network of 30 receivers in the area.
The 15-month trial program had begun to attract criticism about the use of Australian salmon as bait, and the inability to land a white shark, nominated by WA’s Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly as the targeted species.
Previously only a handful of non-target species such as bronze whalers, tigers and makos had been caught and released by the network.
The drumline trial was put in place following a series of shark scares in Gracetown that led to the Margaret River Pro surfing competition being abandoned following concerns of safety being raised by surfers.
Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said that from an operational perspective the trial was running as expected.
“We are currently only six months into the 15-month scientific SMART drumline trial,” he said.
“After 12 months, WA’s chief scientist will independently assess the effectiveness of the technology as a shark hazard mitigation measure.”