The morning after a surfer lost his leg when attacked from behind by a great white shark, Australian officials set out to capture and kill the offending shark by placing three baited drumlines in the vicinity of the attack off Falcon Beach south of Perth.
About eight hours later, a great white shark estimated to be 10 to 14 feet in length was caught on a drumline a little over 200 yards offshore.
The Department of Fisheries said in a statement the shark “expired on the line, and the carcass was disposed of at sea, after measurements and samples were taken,” according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Gerring was about to catch a wave near Surf Break Lookout when the great white shark bit him from behind. Gerring managed to scream for help before being dragged underwater a second time, The West Australian reported.It remained unknown if it was the same great white shark that bit off the leg of surfer Ben Gerring, who is in critical condition and fighting for his life at Royal Perth Hospital.
Fellow surfers dragged the 29-year-old to shore where he lost consciousness after his leg was severed above the knee in the Tuesday afternoon attack. The surfers gave him CPR until paramedics got there and continued the life-saving measures. Gerring underwent surgery and several transfusions at the hospital.
Not everybody was happy with the decision to kill the great white shark.
Christopher Neff, a shark policy expert, told 9 News that trying to kill the great white shark responsible in the attack is pointless “political theatre.”
“And it’s a shame because it basically takes a terrible situation that happened to people, like this gentleman, and makes it worse by suggesting the solution to the problem is to kill an individual shark,” Neff told 9 News. “That’s not the solution to the problem.”
Neff also said the baited drumlines made the beach more dangerous as they could lure more sharks to the area.
Over the past six years, there have been 16 shark attacks off Western Australia with six being fatal.
In 2014, the Western Australia government implemented a controversial trial using baited drumlines to catch great white sharks but halted the practice.
However, officials put into place an “imminent threat” policy that allows sharks over 10 feet that pose a threat to public safety to be captured and killed, which is what happened Wednesday, assuming they got the right shark.
The beaches remain closed.