Vigilante anglers 'hook great white' in frustration over WA shark attack

Western Australia locals are taking action to bait and kill great white sharks because they believe authorities are failing to protect beachgoers.

Local fishermen say they recently hooked a 3.5m great white shark that they claim was aggressive.

They say it had been filmed on three different days biting and bumping boats in Esperance, on the south coast of Western Australia, Perth Now reports.

The vigilante response is after teenage surfer Laeticia Brouwer died at the popular Kelp Beds Beach in April.

Esperance Ocean Safety and Support Group leader Mitch Capelli says he is trying to work constructively with Fisheries Minister Dave Kelly on shark attack mitigation in the area.

“It’s severely hectic down here and someone is going to die and that’s the unfortunate reality of it,” Mr Capelli says.

The fishermen say in hindsight it was the wrong thing to do, particularly because Great White sharks are a protected species and deliberately killing one carries a fine of up to $10,000 for first offence.

Surfer Laeticia Brouwer, 17, who died following a shark mauling off the WA coast reportedly had her leg bitten off from the hip. Picture: Supplied

Mr Kelly said the installation of two $100,000 VR4 receivers in June that can detect tagged sharks was a “valued level of protection”.

However, locals say that the receivers do not help protect the beaches as nearly all of the sharks spotted aren't tagged.

The minister claims it's too difficult to tag every shark, shelving plans to tag great whites off Esperance because they can't find them, unless they're feeding on schooling fish.

Shark expert and filmmaker David Riggs said Esperance had the best seasonal great white shark aggregations in WA at Salisbury Island and is dubbed the “Isle of Jaws”.

“It’s the latest white shark hotspot (to be) recognised on the planet,” he said.

“Before we had dropped anchor we had six 15ft great whites pushing our boat around. It’s full-on.

He added that “It’s counter- productive" to kill just one shark.

"It’s about understanding the animal and its place in the environment," he said.