Commissioner Shelves Shark-Killing Plan as Opposition Mounts

BARNSTABLE – Fallout continues from Barnstable County Commissioner Ron Beaty’s proposal to capture and kill sharks in local waters.

Commission Chairman Leo Cakounes issued a statement Thursday distancing the board from Beaty’s idea, saying Beaty alone brought forward the proposal and that the Commissioners have no plans to take the matter up.

“On behalf of the Barnstable County Board of Regional Commissioners, I would like to clearly state that no item regarding a so-called ‘shark mitigation plan’ has been presented for review, nor is one expected to be placed on any future agenda. A press statement relative to such a plan was drafted and distributed by one member of the Board of Commissioners without the knowledge of fellow board members or County staff, and all inquiries should be made to that individual Commissioner.”

In a statement issued to the media Friday morning, Beaty said he would place an “indefinite INTERIM FREEZE” on the proposal, “pending issuance of ALTERNATIVE PROPOSALS.”

Earlier this week, Beaty suggested that baited drum lines should be placed near popular Cape Cod beaches in an attempt to catch great whites. Under his plan, sharks captured alive would be shot and discarded at sea.

Beaty said killing the animals would improve beach safety.

“These sharks are not pets. They are man-eaters. They are killers. So we have to see them for what they are,” Beaty told the CapeCod.com Newscenter on Wednesday. “We’ll see how much we embrace it when somebody’s child is eaten alive.”

The proposal comes in a week where shark sightings have been in the news. A great white attacked a seal just feet from shore at Nauset Beach on Monday and a paddle board was bit by a shark on Wednesday at Marconi Beach.

“People had to rush out of the water at Nauset Beach,” Beaty said. “It could just as easily have been someone’s child that was attacked and bitten in half.”

The plan garnered condemnation from the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy, who said the proposal is “ill-considered, indiscriminate, and will not influence beach safety.”

By MATT McCARTHY, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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