Western-Australia-Flag_2acMedia Release

Department of Fisheries, Western Australia

09. October 2013

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Catch and kill order rescinded by Director General

A catch and kill order to destroy the white shark responsible for the attack on an abalone diver off the coast of Esperance at Cape Arid has been rescinded by Department of Fisheries Director General Stuart Smith.

The Department has determined that the risk of an imminent threat to the public after yesterday’s attack has now passed.

Mr Smith decided to rescind the order this afternoon after vessels spent most of yesterday afternoon and this morning searching for the shark.

Capture gear was deployed yesterday afternoon and was re-set at 5am this morning.

“We take the issuing of a catch and kill order very seriously and similarly the rescinding of such an order,” Mr Smith said.

“The attack on Mr Pickering was very likely a white shark and as the shark posed an imminent threat to swimmers and divers in the area we had no choice but to issue this order, especially as it is school holidays at the moment.

“The capture gear we use is identical to that which is used successfully in the Department’s shark tagging research program.

“The scientific advice is that some white sharks remain in the vicinity of an attack site for a period while others move on.

“There have been no further sightings of a white shark in the area and it is likely that the shark responsible for the attack is no longer in this general locality.

“Efforts have also been made to advise people camping around Cape Arid about the incident which has reduced the likelihood of them entering the water.

“Our thoughts are with Mr Pickering and his family and we wish him a full and speedy recovery,” Mr Smith added.​

Source: Department of Fisheries WA