Quint would be pleased. The professional shark-hunter from Peter Benchley’s novel Jaws would raise a glass and toast the WA government’s decision to authorise the destruction of the shark responsible for a diver’s death at Rottnest Island last week.
And just like in Jaws, there’s community hysteria, a loss of reasoned thought, at the idea there is a man-eater waiting in the shallows off the coast.
This reaction is admirable and understandable. The loss of a life through misadventure is tragic. Often the casualty is in their prime and their loved ones are always devastated. Our unreserved sympathies go out to those left behind in what must be the worst imaginable circumstances. No act or sentiment can ever fill the hole left in their lives.
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We need marine parks.
That very statement is going to land me in hot water with thousands of Australian recreational anglers, whose pasttime, and in some cases livelihood, is under genuine threat from the implementation of marine sanctuaries and no-fishing zones around the country.
I say it, though, to make it known right off the bat that I am an environmentalist, and have been a Greens voter in the past. You won’t find many anglers who believe that protecting our oceans isn’t crucial, and it is in this sense the truth has been lost in an ongoing heated debate.
The ‘us and them’ battle for access to fishing spots has painted us bloodthirsty murderers and the Marine Parks Authority as knights in shining green armour.
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There’s no denying it. I have officially moved from serious weekend sporting participant to weekend warrior. You can kind of justify it when you’re in your 20s or even early 30s but you know from the reactions of people when you tell them you play on the weekends that the Rubicon has been crossed. It used to be “That’s cool. How you guys doing? You gonna win this year?” Now it ranges from an empathic “Well you’ve gotta do something to keep fit” through “What the hell are you doing that for?” to complete disinterest, as if feigning any would somehow legitimise my obvious lunacy.
Still, as any of my fellow WWs could tell you, Saturday or Sunday afternoon sport is addictive and virtually impossible to give up. You’ll know many of us by our somewhat arthritic-looking shuffles in through the office doors on Monday mornings. If you’re still playing at my age, the only sympathy you’ll get for your agony is from fellow WWs, as the rest of society wrote us off as mad long ago.
On the weekend, we’re a different story. Many of us are and have been involved in our clubs for many years. We may have children now working through the age groups and grades, often displaying far greater skill than we ever did. We may be on the club committee. We may be firing up the barbecue, our partners may be working in the canteen, and we’ll wear our club colours proudly. Come game time though, it’s on. We play hard but fair and any agitation is almost always left on the field. There’s an esky afterwards, and/or a trip to the pub. Then we’re on our way home to shower and groan around the house for the evening, using our post-game aches and pains as a legitimate excuse for not helping around the house that evening.
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@mooks83 sophisticated response. Think the kids parents saw it differently
More class from 9's footy show, lampooning a baby that allegedly looks like Sterlo with a pic swiped from Facebook http://t.co/BGoYP6Pn68
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