Thursday, April 25, 2024

Fremantle may put bite on shark fishing

Fremantle Council will this week consider introducing measures to ban shark fishing at popular swimming beaches.

On Wednesday the council’s Finance, Policy, Operations and Legislation Committee will vote on whether to initiate an amendment to the City of Fremantle Local Government Property Local Law 2002.

If adopted, the amendment would prohibit fishing for sharks at all beaches in the City of Fremantle.

Fremantle Mayor, Hannah Fitzhardinge said the proposed ban came in response to growing community concern about shark fishing at swimming beaches.

“Although fishing for sharks at popular beaches – including putting berley and blood in the water to attract them – is grossly irresponsible, it’s currently not illegal,” Mayor Fitzhardinge said.

“We had an awful fatal shark attack at Port Beach in November last year.

“There’s increasing concern among beachgoers that shark fishing is encouraging sharks to hunt in these areas and is putting swimmers at risk.

“The proposed amendment to our local law will enable the City to prohibit fishing for sharks at our beaches and create a safer environment for swimmers and other beach users.”

The City of Cockburn and the Town of Cottesloe already have local laws in place banning fishing for sharks.

The proposed amendment to the City of Fremantle’s local law would prohibit fishing for sharks from a beach by means of a fishing line that contains any metal wire or chain within one metre of any hook.

It would also prohibit fishing for sharks using blood or berley as a lure, and with the use of a spear gun or similar device.  

The penalty for undertaking illegal fishing activities would be $500.

If the FPOL committee agrees to initiate the amendment, the Local Government Act 1995 requires the City to give notice of the proposed changes and invite public submissions for a period of no less than six weeks.

At the end of the public consultation period, City officers will review the submissions and prepare a report to the council for further consideration. 

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