Whitsunday Islands off the Queensland coast of Australia is a tourist spot in the Great Barrier Reef and the recent incidents of attacks by tiger sharks have taken the authorities by surprise. The 12-year-old girl was from Melbourne, while the 46-year-old woman was from Tasmania, and both suffered shark bites on the legs. These happened within 24 hours of each other at more or less than the same spot and both have been hospitalized. They are believed to be critical but stable.

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Sky News reports that as a preventive measure, the authorities killed two sharks that were in the region by using traps to ensnare them. One of the tiger sharks was nearly 11ft long.

Normally the waters are safe and the Australian broadcaster ABC has said that these shark attacks were the first in eight years.

Safety of the people must be ensured

Fisheries Queensland have put in place deadly traps ignoring objections from conservationists and marine scientists. They have made use of Drum lines with baited hooks and these will be there for the next few days, probably a week. This will ensure safety of swimmers. Of course, shark attacks are very rare in the region but in view of the latest incidents, such precautionary measures are expected to provide a certain level of safety for the people

It is difficult to ascertain whether the tiger sharks that have been killed were responsible for the attacks but, action has been taken and the carcasses will be moved out to sea for disposal.

Officials of concerned departments along with water police will patrol the Whitsunday Islands and swimmers are being advised to avoid the waters for some days. Incidentally, New South Wales has conducted trials on non-lethal measures to reduce such risks. They have used aerial drones to track the movement of sharks and pass on the information in advance.

It was necessary to kill the sharks

According to The Break Area, the manager of Queensland Fisheries has indicated that the killing of the tiger sharks was not a cull. Jeff Krause is the manager of the shark control program, and he has told Australia’s ABC that steps will be taken to confirm whether the sharks killed were indeed the attackers. This will involve matching their teeth with the wounds inflicted on the victims. The attacks took place outside Cid Harbour in the Whitsunday Islands region. This is a popular tourist destination near the Great Barrier Reef. The authorities cannot be faulted because shark attacks can lead to serious consequences including loss of lives.