Illegal shark killings alleged

There have been allegations of illegal great white shark culling on some Port Lincoln fishing boats. PHOTO: CHARLOTTE MARTIN

The Port Lincoln Times understands multiple illegal great white shark killings have allegedly occurred on Port Lincoln fishing boats this year.

When enquiries were made to the Department of Primary Industries and Regions (PIRSA), a spokesperson said it did not discuss whether it was investigating fisheries’ issues or comment on those it was investigating.

“White sharks are protected at all times in South Australian waters under the Fisheries Management Act which stipulates that a person must not take, harm or harass a white shark. The sale, purchase and possession of a white shark (including any body parts) is also illegal,” the statement said.

“There is a penalty of up to $100,000 or two years’ imprisonment for anyone caught and found guilty of such offences.

“The Department of Primary Industries and Regions takes any incidents seriously and will investigate reports received of such activities.”

When SAPOL were approached for comment a spokesperson said it was a “fisheries investigation and all prosecutions are being managed by them”.

The department spokesperson said if people spotted, or were aware, of any illegal fishing activity, to report through the 24-hour Fishwatch number on 1800 065 522.

“Callers will speak to a fisheries officer and can choose to remain anonymous.”