A story that deserves more attention. The West Australian government has announced a “shark mitigation” plan to kill Great White Sharks in proximity to swimmers.
How do you feel about that? Are you a shark lover? According to figures at the Sydney Aquarium, a record number of sharks were killed after the Jaws films.
And it’s Wednesday. What’s on your mind?
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As we crest over the worst of winter and start looking forward to spring and warmer weather, a tricky question sits waiting on the horizon.
How do you solve a problem like shark attacks? Or, more to the point, is there one? There are more of us in the water than ever before. Are there more of them? And is that why WA has suffered through an horrific 10 months, with five fatal attacks?
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In the era of The Real Julia, a cricket captain entrapped by media trainers and wall-to-wall corporate spokespeople, you don’t hear many bullshit-free interviews.
As a little summer refreshment, listen to this chat this morning on ABC Radio 702 with Rick Parsons from North Avoca Surf Life Saving Club.
Last night there was a SHARK ATTACK! on his beach. Thankfully the 28-year-old surfer who was bitten on the arm is ok, but standard precautions were this morning carried out, including closing the beach and helicopter patrols.
Mr Parsons sounds like the sort of bloke you want around in a crisis. Crisis? What crisis?
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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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Political correctness rules our lives and while I’m all for equal opportunity, why not extend it to some of the creatures that share our great country?
Why is it considered acceptable for one or two species to regularly claim human lives, while another is hunted down and killed in retribution? Or a whole colony culled, after what might be little more than a nip?
If you are unlucky enough to be eaten or bitten in the sea, you are intruding, you knowingly took the risk and the chances are very high that the protected predator responsible will be allowed to swim off in search of its next feed.
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Some people get all the luck. Paul Welsh is surfing with his son, gets bitten (sorry, that should read ‘savagely menaced’) by a docile and mostly harmless Wobbegong and out come the cheque books.
Before a stitch is even sewn, he’s been snapped up by a television network and an early morning trip to the beach is now a big earner. Well done mate. If reports on the websites are true, you’ve hit the Shark-pot.
Shame it was only a Wobbegong. Imagine what you’d get for an actual Great White.
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Well it’s the silly season and sharks are in the news again, big time.
This summer in central Queensland, they are competing with box jellyfish and irukandji for the mantle of scariest critters in the sea, while on land, tourists at Seventeen Seventy have been attacked by a crazed kamikaze flying fox.
That small tourism hot spot marks the place where Captain James Cook put ashore to take on fresh water, but this week three tourists were bitten by a bat later found to have been infected by the potentially deadly lyssavirus.
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