Shark tourism banned in biggest Australian state

by William ASTON on July 9, 2012

Cage diving with sharks will be banned in the state of Western Australia after the deaths of four members of the public that were attacked while spending time in the sea.

The activity is incredibly popular in states around southern Australia and the southern most country in Africa, South Africa, but operators are to be prevented from being able to set up businesses on the west coast of Australia for fear of more sharks being attracted. Western Australia’s fisheries minister, Norman Moore, quoted research suggesting that cage diving is often responsible for changing the behaviour of sharks.

Moore commented that he has decided that his state won’t become a place for any type of shark cage tourism, despite the recognition that the activity brings in vast amounts of tourism revenue. It was claimed by Moore that Western Australia, as opposed to the likes of South Africa or Southern Australia, has no areas where sharks are able to congregate.

Since September 2011, Western Australia has been subjected to four fatal attacks. Just last month, Irish expat Martin Kane, aged 62, had been enjoying himself in the sea when a great white shark began biting at his ski. Luckily, he was able to scramble to his friend’s kayak, after his own was snapped in half, and managed to escape alive.

Following the attacks, Western Australia, which is the world’s largest state, has set up an official Shark Response Unit.

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