A catch-and-kill order to destroy the white shark responsible for the attack on an abalone diver off the coast of Esperance has been rescinded.
Experienced abalone diver Greg Pickering, 55, survived his second shark attack yesterday and is in a stable condition after undergoing a marathon surgery session.
The Department of Fisheries said this afternoon that it had determined that the risk of an imminent threat to the public after yesterday’s attack had now passed.
Department of Fisheries Director-General Stuart Smith decided to rescind the order after vessels spent most of yesterday afternoon and this morning searching for the shark.
Capture gear was deployed yesterday afternoon and was re-set at 5am today, the department said.
“We take the issuing of a catch-and-kill order very seriously and similarly the rescinding of such an order,” Mr Smith said.
“The attack on Mr Pickering was very likely a white shark and as the shark posed an imminent threat to swimmers and divers in the area we had no choice but to issue this order, especially as it is school holidays at the moment.
“The capture gear we use is identical to that which is used successfully in the department’s shark-tagging research program.
“The scientific advice is that some white sharks remain in the vicinity of an attack site for a period while others move on."
Mr Smith said there had been no further sightings of a white shark in the area.
It was likely that the shark responsible for the attack was no longer in this general locality, he said.
“Efforts have also been made to advise people camping around Cape Arid about the incident which has reduced the likelihood of them entering the water," Mr Smith said.“Our thoughts are with Mr Pickering and his family and we wish him a full and speedy recovery."