CALLS FOR CULL: A tiger shark hooked off Fraser Island earlier this year. MP Keith Pitt has stood by his calls for a cull.
CALLS FOR CULL: A tiger shark hooked off Fraser Island earlier this year. MP Keith Pitt has stood by his calls for a cull. Contributed

SHARK CULL: MP stands by contoversial call for open season

HINKLER MP Keith Pitt says he won't back down from controversial calls for a shark cull.

This is despite criticism from marine experts and the State Government.

Mr Pitt wants action on Queensland's sharks which he says are in "plague proportions", leading to an unacceptable risk of shark attacks as seen in the Whitsundays.

Hervey Bay marine biologist Yvonne Miles believes culling sharks is a "knee-jerk reaction" that would throw the local ecosystem out of balance.

Queensland Fisheries Minister Mark Furner has also ruled out a cull, claiming there was "no science" to support the proposal.

But Mr Pitt told the Chronicle yesterday the State Government should do everything within its powers to protect people on the beach.

"I stand by my comments for a shark cull which is based on feedback I have received directly from local commercial fishermen who have been in the industry for many, many years," Mr Pitt said.

He did not specify which type of sharks would be targeted within the proposed cull.

Hervey Bay remains one of the only seaside cities in Queensland not protected by shark barriers.

Mr Pitt didn't say whether he would support a trial of nets or drumlines in the region.

Data from the state's Shark Control program reveals about 34 sharks were caught in drum lines off nearby Rainbow Beach last year.

Another 54 sharks were caught between Kellys Beach, Nielson Park and Bargara Beach near Bundaberg.

The eastern side of Fraser Island is well-known for shark sightings due to bait fish presence in the area.



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