Australia may consider shark cull after teenager’s death

Australia may consider shark cull after teenager’s death

Laeticia Brouwer, the Australian teenager who was killed by a shark Image copyright
WA Police

Image caption

Laeticia Brouwer had a passion for the ocean, her family says

Australia will consider all proposals to stop shark attacks following the death of a teenage girl, the government has said.

Laeticia Brouwer, 17, was fatally attacked by a shark on Monday while surfing in Western Australia (WA).

It was the third deadly attack in the state within 12 months.

Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said Australia would think about culling sharks or introducing other measures, such as drum line traps.

“In light of the recent shark attack the Commonwealth would welcome any proposal to put human life first,” he said Mr Frydenberg.

“This could include the newest drum line technology, shark exclusion nets, culling or other measures which WA sees fit.”

Image copyright
WA Police

Image caption

Authorities examined Ms Brouwer’s damaged surfboard

A drum line is a trap consisting of large baited hook attached to a floating object, which is anchored to the sea floor.

However, the state government said it would not deploy drum lines following Ms Brouwer’s death.

“They don’t actually make our beaches any safer,” WA Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly said.

The fisheries department said it believed Ms Brouwer was attacked by a great white shark after examining photos of her damaged surfboard.

In 2014, the state trialled a shark cull on seven beaches using baited traps, but it proved controversial and was halted by an environmental regulator. More than 170 sharks were caught but none of them were great whites.

New shark nets have recently been installed at some beaches in the state.

‘Passion’ for ocean

Ms Brouwer’s uncle Steve Evans said relatives were “terribly heartbroken” by her death in the town of Esperance.

“We take comfort in the fact that Laeticia died doing something that she loved,” he said.

“The ocean was her and her family’s passion. Surfing was something that she treasured doing with her dad and her sisters.

“Laeticia will be greatly missed by her family, friends and everyone who knew her.”

The beach will remain closed until further notice.

Australia may consider shark cull after teenager’s death