The death of a teenage girl at the jaws of a man-eating shark has prompted Australia to consider a cull to prevent further attacks.
Laeticia Brouwer, 17, was out surfing off the coast of the town of Esperance, Western Australia (WA), when she was attacked and killed by what is believed to be a great white shark.
Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg said he would now consider new proposals following the teenager’s death, the third deadly attack in WA over the past year.
Among the options are a shark cull and netting – although any actions would be reliant on the state government.
Mr Frydenberg explained: “In light of the recent shark attack the Commonwealth would welcome any proposal to put human life first.
“This could include the newest drum line technology, shark exclusion nets, culling or other measures which WA sees fit.”
The state government currently prefers so-called ‘shark shields’ – wearable devices that emit an electrical field that repels sharks.
If the state decides to opt for a cull, it would need federal approval before the plans could go ahead.
Ms Brouwer’s uncle Steve Evans said relatives were “terribly heartbroken” by her death.
He added: “We take comfort in the fact that Laeticia died doing something that she loved.
“The ocean was her and her family’s passion. Surfing was something that she treasured doing with her dad and her sisters.
“Laeticia will be greatly missed by her family, friends and everyone who knew her.”
A cull trial in the state that took place in 2014 on seven beaches caught over 170 sharks but was later halted by an environmental regulator.
Top pic: Rex