March 5, 2014: Supreme Court of Western Australia, Sea Shepherd Australia Ltd vs. State of Western Australia
The Hon. Justice Edelman today denied an application filed by Sea Shepherd Australia and Dr. Sharon Burden in the Western Australia Supreme Court for a full judicial review of the WA state government’s controversial shark cull program.
Justice Edelman ruled that there are no reasonable grounds for a full hearing, denying a request for an interim injunction to suspend the 60 drum lines currently in place around the state’s coastline.
The decision follows an application filed by Sea Shepherd Australia and Dr. Sharon Burden through the Environmental Defenders Office of Western Australia, for a judicial review of the decisions and conduct of the Western Australian state government, Premier Colin Barnett and Fisheries Minister Ken Bastion, in relation to the state’s controversial shark cull plan.
Dr. Burden, whose son was killed by a shark off Bunker Bay in 2011 while bodyboarding, states: "There is a sculpture in the sand dunes at Bunker Bay directly in line with the surf break where Kyle was killed. We placed the sculpture there, not as a reminder of Kyle’s death, but as a reminder to others to appreciate the beauty of the Bay, the joy of surfing, and the need to protect everything in nature that we can sometimes take for granted. It has always been a place of peace and comfort for me. Now, as I sit and contemplate in this place, I can clearly see the drum line buoys directly offshore. And it disturbs me greatly."
Managing Director of Sea Shepherd Australia, Jeff Hansen, says: “From an ecological and public safety perspective, Sea Shepherd Australia is very concerned about these drum lines remaining off the Perth metropolitan and southwest beaches.”
“Although Sea Shepherd Australia has led the legal challenge, we stand with the No Shark Cull Alliance and the many Australians, scientists, and people around the world who want to see these drum lines removed. We all want to see the WA Government focus on best-practice solutions that put Western Australia at the forefront of marine science, like more tagging, research, signage at beaches, and new technologies, rather than solutions that actually make our beaches less safe and destroy our healthy marine environments.”
“Sea Shepherd Australia would like to thank the team at EDOWA, our solicitor Patrick Pearlman and barrister Richard Hooker for their courage, passion and commitment to stand up for Western Australia's precious marine life.
We would also like to thank everyone who has given a donation to help us take on the legal challenge to date.”
“Sea Shepherd Australia will continue our work to save the sharks of Western Australia, exploring all options available to us. We will not cease in our efforts until these cruel, barbaric, unsafe and environmentally unsustainable drum lines are removed permanently.”
If unabated, it is estimated that the WA government’s shark cull program will kill more than 140 protected Tiger Sharks by the end of its initial three-month period.
A copy of the ruling can be seen here: http://decisions.justice.wa.gov.au/
photos: Omar Todd