Shark numbers in north Queensland are ‘out of control’, according to a fisherman who says he is surprised there have not been more attacks.
Bruce Batch, has worked in the same commercial fishery for 47 years, and fishes in the waters from Townsville to Princess Charlotte Bay, in the Far North.
‘When you’re out here on the water and you see the amount of sharks and the amount of large sharks, it’s out of control and I don’t know what the answer is,’ Bruce Batch told the ABC.
His comments come after the tragic death of Melbourne doctor Daniel Christidis after he was bitten by a shark at Cid Harbour at the Whitsundays in Queensland, on Monday.
A fisherman said he is surprised there haven’t been more shark attacks after a doctor was killed in a picturesque tourist hot spot
The comments come after the tragic death of Melbourne doctor Daniel Christidis (pictured) after he was bitten by a shark at Cid Harbour at the Whitsundays in Queensland, on Monday
Mr Batch also said the combination of environmental campaigns and a move to reduce commercial catches had driven the shark population upwards.
Mr Batch went on to say the trawler industry along the east coast had gone through a massive downturn.
‘What’s happened is the trawler industry’s taken a massive downturn, but those sharks didn’t go away – they just got bigger and fatter,’ he said.
Mr Batch also said that environmental groups had persuaded major supermarkets to remove shark meat, known as flake, from shelves, meaning that the population was allowed to grow unchecked.
‘We used to have a 1,200-tonne take a year in Queensland and that now is probably down to less than 100 tonnes and those sharks are still getting caught but you haven’t got a market for them so you can’t use them — you just discard them,’ he said.
A table discussion will be held at Airlie Beach today, where Queensland Government representatives will meet with marine experts to discuss the alarming number of shark attacks.
The most recent attack was in the same area where 12-year-old Hannah Papps and Justine Barwick, 45, narrowly survived shark attacks within 24 hours of each other in mid-September
A discussion will be held at Airlie Beach today, where Queensland Government representatives will meet with marine experts to investigate the alarming number of shark attacks
In September, 12-year-old Hannah Papps and Justine Barwick, 45, were both attacked by sharks within 24 hours of each other, although both survived.
Queensland shark control program manager Jeff Krause told the Courier Mail drumlines as a safety measure simply wouldn’t cut it.
‘There’s obviously a large population of sharks in that area and the feeling is that you catch one, (another) one is going to take its place.’
Mr Krause is expected to broach an education program to drive shark safety awareness.
Queensland’s LNP opposition is calling for a parliamentary review of shark attacks.
Meanwhile, the government will install warning signs urging holidaymakers to not swim at Cid Harbour.