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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 49(7)

Shark control: experimental fishing with baited drumlines

S. F. J. Dudley, R. C. Haestier, K. R. Cox and M. Murray

Marine and Freshwater Research 49(7) 653 - 661
Published: 1998


Protective gill-nets (shark nets) have been successful in reducing the frequency of shark attacks on the coast of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa, since 1952. This is achieved primarily through a local reduction in numbers of large sharks. Yet the nets are non-selective in terms of shark species caught and take a by-catch of dolphins, sea turtles, batoids and teleosts. Baited lines, or drumlines, as used in the Queensland shark control programme, were tested as possible alternatives to gill-nets. They demonstrated greater species selectivity for sharks and also a reduced by-catch of non-shark animals. The shark catch included the three species responsible for most shark attacks on the KZN coast, Carcharhinus leucas, Galeocerdo cuvier and Carcharodon carcharias. The probability of the bait being scavenged, or a shark being caught, was modelled in relation to a number of physical environmental factors. Although there was insufficient variability in the effort data for a quantitative comparison of catch rates between nets and drumlines, the results suggested that an optimal solution may be to deploy a combination of nets and drumlines.

Full text doi:10.1071/MF98026

© CSIRO 1998

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