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What do you think of Western Australia's shark cull?

by Sarah Bell (follow)
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Are you in agreement with the shark cull in Western Australia, or are you among those protesting? What are your views.

#Shark Cull
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I am completely against it. Killing any animal other than for food is wrong in my opinion. If sharks are a danger, then stay out of the water. The ocean is a shark's natural habitat and they deserve to be there. Humans are just visitors to the water, and have no right to kill the sharks because their presence is inconvenient.
I agree with you on this.
by jonaja
Killing another creature of Gods creation is not right unnecessarily. I agree with Bryony on this one, yet I don't know too much about the specific problem in Western Australia.
I agree.
by jonaja
Horses, donkeys, camels, rabbits and wild life caught up in the baiting of dogs and dingoes are culled by the thousands every day all across Australia.
Why is there such a fuss about the reduction in numbers of a deadly killing machine?
The shark considers you as his prey and would not care less about you if he finds you in the water. Seven people have been killed by sharks while 35 have been killed on our roads was published as a statistic to say that it is more dangerous on the road than the beach but I would like to point out that millions of people spend hours every day in their cars while only a very small number of people spend a few minutes actually in the water and then it is only a few times a year. When you calculate the numbers based on these facts it becomes clear what huge a risk these killer sharks are to are lives.
I personally know multiple people killed by sharks including a close friend recently so take a step back and think about what you are saying. If you want to change the world why not invest your time into stopping the slaughter of those intelligent and beautiful horses being slaughtered by gun fire every day right here in Australia. Better still help the horses who upon becoming unwanted by their selfish spoilt teenage girl owners find themselves left waiting in the slaughter yards listening to others scream in fear as the slaughter man approaches.
Invest your time in the right causes.
You are comparing native animals with introduced species. Sharks are native to the oceans and seas we find them in. Rabbits, camels, donkeys and horses aren't meant to be here in Australia and do damage to the environment (so do people, but that's a whole other problem). Conversely, sharks are not damaging the ecosystem here where as indiscriminately killing them (regardless of species, those that kill humans along with those that never do) will. I'm not condoning the baiting of dingoes, just pointing out that you're comparing apples and oranges.

I think you'll find quite a few people spend more than "minutes" of their day in the ocean. Professional and amateur surfers spend hours out there every day, then there's swimmers. I know I've spent many a happy hour in the surf myself. Not as many as I have spent in a car but your numbers are still out of whack.

I am very sorry that people you know have been killed or injured by sharks. That must have been terrible. This must be a much more emotional issue for you. I really don't think it has anything to do with the killing of horses though.

As I understand it it's not that they consider us prey, but rather that most of time they attack humans by accident, for example mistaking surfers for turtles from the shape of their sillohette from below.

There are other ways we can help reduce shark attacks, like stopping boats from just chucking fish guts over the side causing sharks to associate boats and humans with food.
Sorry Jennifer I can’t let you get away with those comments. You clearly have not done your math on the numbers and time spent by West Australians driving against the time spent in the ocean. If you pull out a calculator I am sure you will be shocked at the risk relationship considered against time and volume.
Having spent 30 years in and around sharks and noted multiple work colleagues and close friends mauled by these brutal uncaring killers you will never convince me that they deserve better treatment than a horse or a dog.
Your argument about horses and dogs not belonging in this country and humans not having a right to swim in the ocean without being killed leaves me afraid to ask what you think about sharing and immigration.

by kstew
It's not as simple as just pulling out a calculator unless you've actually got enough figures and reliable ones to start with. I don't know what your figures mean. Seven people killed by sharks during what time period in what area? 35 people where and during what time? If you're referring to the road toll for WA, last year it was 163, not 35, and obviously the total national road toll was much higher. It would be far higher still if you are counting all the people injured in road accidents and not just those killed.
I tried searching for figures on shark attacks and according to the ABC fact check page there were only 7 fatal shark attacks IN THE WORLD in 2012 (only 2 in Australia). Do you have more recent figures for WA? If so, where do they come from? Are you only counting fatal attacks, or all shark attacks? If it's the latter then surely you need to compare it with all car accidents, not just the fatal ones.

I'd be very interested to see facts and figures and articles on stuff you have learned in your 30 years experience in the field. It's always great to hear from an expert.

No, I suppose I don't think we have some inalieable right to swim in the ocean and not be killed by sharks. Obviously we don't want to be, and we try not to be, but sharks are a force of nature so that makes about as much sense as saying we have a right not to get the flu or be struck by lightning. We try to avoid these things and weigh the pros and cons of different methods of avoiding them but I don't think we have a right not to have anything bad happen to us. That's not realistic. As I said, I've swum in the ocean myself. My kids do the same. Obviously I don't want anybody I love or anybody you love to be eaten by sharks. What I said was that those of us who do swim in the ocean know the risks. It would be good if we can do something to reduce those risks, though I do not personally believe that culling sharks indiscriminately is the best way to do that. Several experts have recently publicly stated that they don't think it will work (see the link in my reply to the original question). In fact some believe it will actually lead to an increase in shark attacks.
I'm not sure what would be a better way but the current idea seems to do a lot of damage.

I also didn't say anything about how horses or dogs should be treated. I'm in favour of animal welfare in general (I try to avoid eating animals or wearing their skins, campaign against animal testing for cosmetics etc.). I just don't see what little girls getting tired of their pet ponies has to do with this debate at all. It's a non sequitur.

What I said about sharks was in reference to their position as part of the ecosystem. When humans interfere with an ecosystem it throws things out of whack, whether we do it by introducing a new species or killing off an existing one or interfering with its habitat in a major way. Shark killing doesn't just affect the sharks and the humans, it affects fish, seals, other smaller shark species, squid and whales too.

If you want to know my views on immigration have a squiz at my profile and you'll find an article about children in detention in Nauru which should tell you all you need to know about that.
Good on you -I totally agree with you
by Finy
I totally disagree with you on this.

They belong in the ocean.Humans belongs on the Land.
If Humans wants to go into 'their living space', then there will be risks.
Sharks are such a valuable part of the Ocean, I totally agree with Jennifer on this.Also, we are not talking about any other animal for this...just sharks.It's
not fair to bring in any other animal.
by jonaja

I also see you said to Jennifer ''You can't let her get away with those comments'' and that you would hate to see what she thought about Immigration.
We all have our own opinions here, and respect is vital...I would like to discourage you from making such comments, it is totally unfair to say such things.

by jonaja
It is insane!

I hate the way people who do this seem to think it is acceptable?

Well I for one say its not! ...This is one of those times, you feel ashamed to be a human.
sorry once again a Glich! :(
by jonaja
It is insane!

I hate the way people who do this seem to think it is acceptable?

Well I for one say its not! ...This is one of those times, you feel ashamed to be a human.
And again the rest of the world laughs at the stupidity of Australians this time for culling sharks.
How ridiculous can you get? Everyone who goes in the sea knows the risks. More people die from bee stings in Australia every year than from shark attacks. So should we be burning all the bee hives?
Even setting aside the fact that the sharks don't deserve to die, taking out the top level predator is really bad for an ecosystem. They fill an ecological niche. The number of people killed by sharks is miniscule. You have more chance of being killed by lightning. When we go into the ocean to swim we know the risks. If the sharks came and ate people in their homes that would be one thing, but when we're in their habitat that's a different story.

Interestingly several victims of previous shark attacks have come out in the media recently and said that they are opposed to the shark cull.
Yes, your correct on this.
by jonaja
Very well said Jennifer. It appears that few people understand the effects of distrupting the delicate equilibrium that exists in all ecosystems. I sincerely hope that the cull does not go ahead. It makes no sense.
by Vee
Absolutely!! I'm with you Vee.
by jonaja
Thanks jonaj. It's really encouraging when you find others who are like-minded. :D
by Vee
It's stupid. It's to please the public, and it won't do anything, Ironically, a large majority don't want to be pleased in this manner (at least not Australians).
I think it's disgusting. That is THEIR territory. It's not like they are walking up the beach and attacking people. As Jennifer said, they are vital in the food-chain. It's bad enough that they are killed in their thousands by Asians just for their fins. If we lose them the whole ecosystem will be thrown out of whack.
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