Sydney, Jan 8 (IANS) A search operation for a giant four-metre shark that has been terrorizing a popular Aussie beach over the past week, continued on Wednesday, after marine authorities introduced new baited drum lines in the area.
Believed to be a Great White Shark, the predator has been spotted several times in recent days at the Gold Coast’s Palm Beach, even ending up in a widely-circulated photo with a surfer in the foreground, reports Xinhua news agency.
Although the beach does have permanent shark nets, on this occasion the marine giant appears to have slipped through the webbing.
Just days after a scuba diver was killed by a shark in Western Australia, the Queensland government said they would not be taking any chances when it comes to the safety of people, ordering six baited drum lines to be set up 400 meters off Palm Beach.
“When we get that information we have to act, and they’ve acted quickly,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters.
“The drumlines will be in place as long as they need to be. Human life is absolutely paramount.”
A highly sensitive subject in the ‘Sunshine State’, a Federal Court recently ruled that all baited drum lines must be removed from certain areas across the Great Barrier Reef, citing concerns over marine conservation.
But with the Gold Coast area excluded from the marine park zone, authorities were free to target the shark if needed.
However Queensland Shark Control Program manager Michael Mickitis is hopeful the animal will not be harmed.