Two sharks have been killed in Australia after they attacked a woman and a girl at the famous Great Barrier Reef tourist spot in two separate incidents. Drum lines, which use baited hooks to catch the predators, ensnared two tiger sharks—one 3.3 metres long, a Fisheries Queensland spokesman said.
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“While sharks of this size are potentially very dangerous to humans, it is unclear if they were responsible for injuries caused to two swimmers this week,” he said.
“The shark carcasses will be towed well out to sea for disposal.” The spokesman added that the drumlines would remain in place over the next week to reduce the risk to swimmers.
The last shark attack was reported eight years ago in the area, reported national broadcaster ABC.
This week’s incidents have rejuvenated debate about the best ways to reduce the risk of encounters between sharks and people visiting the area.
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Many marine scientists object to killing sharks, and insist that drum lines are a blunt instrument because they often catch other creatures.
New South Wales, the country’s most populous state, has trialled non-lethal measures such as aerial drones to track sharks’ movements and “smart” drum lines that alert authorities to their presence.
(With inputs from agencies)