The West

The Department of Fisheries has abandoned a search for a white pointer shark deemed an "imminent threat" to swimmers in the South West and cancelled a kill order.

The department issued the first kill order for a shark in WA waters last Sunday because of concerns about the number of sightings recorded around Dunsborough between late December and early January.

But after a week of monitoring waters in the area, the Shark Response Until patrol boat, PV Hamelin, will return to Fremantle this morning.

Shark Response Unit spokesperson Tony Cappelluti said there had been no sightings of any sharks in the 3-4 metre size range between Bunker Bay and Quindalup since last Tuesday.

"The lack of sightings since Tuesday of a 3-4 metre shark, or sharks, in the area of concern has been a factor in rescinding the current 'imminent threat' order," he said.

"The department will continue to monitoring sightings and a vessel, with the capacity to set hooks and lines, will remain in the area following return of the PV Hamelin to Fremantle."

There was at least one confirmed sighting of a 3-4 metre shark recorded nearly every day around Dunsborough between December 27 and January 8.

Fisheries officers set catch lines last Sunday and again on Tuesday afternoon but only captured small tiger sharks, which were released.

Mr Cappelluti said a number of factors, including the number of confirmed sightings and level of risk, were considered before a shark was labelled an imminent threat.

A West Online poll in October found that 82 per cent of respondents opposed shark culling.

Anyone who spots a shark should call Water Police on 9442 8600.

The West Australian

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