Addressing the assumptions that underpin the shark cull

Many of the arguments given in support of culling sharks can appear logical on face value, until you examine the assumptions that underpin them. Below are some facts to consider on seven of these key assumptions.

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Speech against the WA Shark Cull

Looking at all the people here today, and thinking of the others around Australia and the world, I think the Premier should be more afraid of us than the sharks!

I thank each and every one of you for the courage you have shown to be here today for the sharks. Only a decade ago when I put my first shark conservation sticker on the dive tub people said it would never take off, and now look at us!

Take action. Email your local MP. .

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Put the Bite on Illogical Thinking, Not Sharks

This opinion piece was published in The West Australian with their minor alterations today on behalf of PADI and Project AWARE, as part of ongoing efforts to stop the culling of sharks and other marine life using baited drumlines off Western Australia’s beaches.

Put the Bite on Illogical Thinking, Not Sharks

The dive industry knows as well as anyone what it means to become best friends with a former nemesis, and that is what we are calling on WA’s Premier and politicians to do too.

 As much as any group who uses the ocean, divers face the potential fear of sharks, and sometimes a real threat.  But as an industry we have also recognised that facts need to come before fear, and benefitted in many ways from that.

 Whilst shark attacks do happen, the risk is so incredibly low
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Truth First Casualty of Great White Shark Feeding Frenzy


Diver and shark by Marco Fraschetti (Oceans Downunder)

A great Opinion Piece very pertinent in the lead up to WA’s shark season this year, printed in The West Australian, Thursday March 18th. Written by Marco Fraschetti,  a shark diver and photographer, spear fisherman and owner of underwater photography and shark diving company Oceans Downunder….

I grew up in Fremantle. The waters from Cockburn Sound right out to the FADs off Rottnest is my backyard. I’ve dived WA’s waters all my life as a spear fisherman and photographer, from Perth all the way to the Northern territory border.  I’ve seen my share of sharks. And I can tell you the sharks have always been out there.

For me it was an encounter with a shark off Perth that changed me forever.

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Reducing the risk of shark bites / shark attack

I have been doing a lot of research on shark risk reduction for recent media, so here is the latest information as I found it – please read as information and do all the research you personally need before making any decisions about your safety – there are links below and within to help you research further.

 Happy Squid’s Summary of Available Information of Shark Interaction Risk Reduction

Sharks are wild animals and should always be treated with caution and respect like any other wild animal. To date, there is no technology or strategy that can completely remove the risk of a shark bite. There remains much doubt and conjecture about many aspects of shark behavior, but there are also some patterns and we are learning more every day.

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What do we know about the Great White Shark?

Understanding white sharks is critical to the safety of people using the oceans, and also to the conservation of this important and awe inspiring ocean predator.  We still know far too little about white sharks (hence my support for significant investments in research), but this is a summary of what I’ve been able to find out from speaking to scientists and shark interaction enthusiasts, and by reading the published papers cited below.

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Opinion Piece in The West today – The One That Got Away a Lesson to Authorities

As published in The West Australian today (minus minor editing improvements made by The West)…

The One That Got Away a Lesson to Authorities

The recent failure by Fisheries Officers to catch and kill a white shark in Geographe Bay has demonstrated why the Government must rethink the controversial pre-emptive kill policy for protected white sharks.

The hunt started not because a shark had behaved in a menacing way, but because shark sightings had repeatedly forced the closure of beaches.  It was assumed that shark sightings between Christmas and early January may have been the same shark but no evidence was provided.

An order was then given to kill a protected white shark displaying natural behavior in known shark habitat because it was holiday season.  It seems more like prolonged inconvenience than imminent threat.

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