Growing community opposition to shark fishing and the additional risks to beachgoers prompted the Kwinana Council to support the ban of recreational shark fishing on beaches within the City of Kwinana.
Councillors at Wednesday’s Ordinary Council Meeting directed the City of Kwinana’s Mayor Carol Adams and CEO Wayne Jack to advocate to Fisheries Minister Don Punch for the prohibition of recreational fishing of sharks within the City of Kwinana and adjacent coastline.
Mayor Adams said in addition to causing unnecessary injury or death of the animals, the practice of using baits including carcasses and offal to attract sharks closer to the coastline may increase the risk to swimmers as well as animals exercising on local beaches.
“The Council acknowledges the importance of our local beaches which attract swimmers, snorkellers, divers and kayakers and does not consider shark fishing to be consistent with such uses,” she said.
“But while we note the action that local authorities like Cottesloe, Cockburn and Fremantle have taken in an attempt to ban the practice, the City does not possess the resources to enforce any ban practically or appropriately on shark fishing.
“A significant proportion of the Kwinana coastline is in private ownership by Fremantle Ports, CSBP, bp Refinery and Water Corporation. This makes regulating and enforcing bans on this land problematic.
“Therefore, the City considers State Government should take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of beachgoers by implementing regulations to control shark fishing.
“The Fish Resources Management Act 1994 grants the Department of Fisheries significant powers to regulate fishing, including search and seize of vehicles and boats, while local governments are not delegated any powers by State Government under this legislation.
“The Act grants the Minister wide power to prohibit fishing activities.
“In 2022 the Minister exercised this power by prohibiting the use of wire trace for fishing from Port Beach to South Cottesloe, as part of efforts to stop recreational shark fishing - a ban we would like extended to include Kwinana,” Mayor Adams said.