Western Australia sees fifth fatal shark attack in 10-month span

Perth Now has reported that a 24-year old surfer was killed by a great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) near Wedge Island, Western Australia on July 14. The tragic event marks the fifth fatal shark attack in Western Australia over the last 10 months. The victim was remembered by friends in tributes online that described him as “amazing, good-natured, and genuine.”

Surfers in the area said a large shark had been spotted in the area for four days prior to Saturday’s attack. The Perth Now report goes on to say that an order was given by WA Fisheries Minister Norman Moore to kill the shark, in the event of its capture. The shark has not been seen in the area since the attack.

Concern among state government has been raised, as a result of the series of fatal attacks in WA, regarding the federal protected status of the great white shark, with some officials calling for the protection laws to be reevaluated. BBC Science editor, Paul Rincon, provided an in-depth look at the prospect of culling and whether it is an effective measure at preventing future attacks.

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