Australian court bans shark cull along Great Barrier Reef

A file photo of a catshark swims at the reef "Barrier Reef" around San Pedro Island in Belize.

Sydney: Australia's Queensland state will be forced to end their shark culling programme after a court on Thursday banned the practice in protected areas of the Great Barrier Reef.

Brought forward by animal welfare group, Humane Society International Marine campaigner Lawrence Chlebeck on Thursday said: "The science is crystal clear, killing sharks does not improve swimmer safety."

Originally put before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in April, Chlebeck explained that yesterday's decision to uphold the ruling provides an opportunity for Queensland to "step up and innovate", Xinhua news agency reported.

"It's simply not true that Queensland must abandon shark control altogether, just ineffective lethal shark control.

"It's time for the Queensland government to invest in more effective non-lethal shark control and abandon efforts to continue killing sharks," he said.

As a result of the order, 173 baited drum lines at 27 beaches between Cairns in the north and Gladstone in the south, will be taken out of the water.

While the decision might be good news for sharks, the state government is furious with the ruling, fearing that an increase in shark attacks could decimate the highly lucrative tourism industry.

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