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States move to stop shark attacks

AAP logoAAP 28/09/2016 Sarah McPhee

There have been 137 deaths from unprovoked shark attacks in Australia in the past century, including one in 2015 and two so far this year. In contrast, 280 people drowned in waterways in 2015/16.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

* Shark detection and mitigation strategies include tagging, acoustic receivers, installation and maintenance of barriers in areas including Albany and Busselton, and the government's SharkSmart website.

* The state abandoned its controversial catch-and-kill policy after a 13-week trial in 2014. Individual sharks can be killed if they pose a serious threat to public safety under orders from WA's Fisheries Department.

* Last unprovoked death: 60-year-old female diver at One Mile Reef, June 2016

NSW

* The state government announced a shark management strategy in 2015 including coastal aerial patrols, satellite listening stations, in-water surveillance trials, drones and drum lines. A trial of two eco-friendly shark barriers was called off this year after they failed to withstand rough conditions.

* Great white sharks are a protected species, but the federal government has signalled it will consider a cull on NSWs north coast after 17-year-old surfer Cooper Allen was attacked at Ballina on Monday.

* Last unprovoked death: 41-year-old male surfer at Shelly Beach, Feb 2015

QUEENSLAND

* The shark control program, introduced in 1962, relies on mesh nets and drum lines (large, baited hooks) at areas including the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, central and far north Queensland. There is also a 24-hour emergency shark hotline to report sightings or damaged equipment.

* Last unprovoked death: 48-year-old male swimmer at Palm Island, 2011

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

* The state's Primary Industries website advises the risk of a shark attack is "extremely low".

* Great white sharks are a protected species.

* Last unprovoked death: 23-year-old male diver at Glenelg, August 2005

TASMANIA

* There are a number of shark refuge areas where fishing is prohibited to protect sharks.

* Last unprovoked death: 35-year-old female diver at Tenth Island, June 1993

VICTORIA

* Victoria restricts the intentional capture of great white sharks for commercial or game fishing, like all other states, in addition to greynurse, elephantfish, school and gummy sharks.

* Last unprovoked death: Mornington Peninsula, 1987

NORTHERN TERRITORY

* Tiger and bull sharks live in NT waters but are not considered as much of a threat as crocodiles. There is a personal possession fishing limit of three sharks. Sawfish, northern river and speartooth sharks are protected.

* Last unprovoked death: 38-year-old female at Cobourg Peninsula, October 1934

(Sources: Australian Shark Attack File - Taronga; ABS Causes of Death, Australia, 2015; Royal Life Saving Drowning Report 2016)

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