West Australian Government accused of basing decision not to reopen commercial shark fishery on politics, not science

Fisheries Minister Joe FrancisFisheries Minister Joe Francis said the fishery would remain closed. “Reopening the metropolitan shark fishery is frequently touted as an indirect method of reducing white shark numbers and the risk of attacks. However, the evidence doesn’t support this,” he said in a statement. A spokeswoman for the fisheries department said Mr Francis’s comment was not based on a study by the department. The Western Australian Shark Fishing Association also believed politics was behind the Government’s decision. “It’s got nothing to do with the stock sustainability issue,” president Brian Scimone said. “It’d be a public thing, a political thing, a recreational thing.” Mr Scimone said shark numbers had built up due to a lack of fishing. “The public, the recreational fishing section, the Government, the fisheries associated with the Government, should start listening to the shark fishermen,” he said. “Bring our quotas back into consideration for use and let us do us our job in a sustainable fishery. Read the story here 08:21

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