Yesterday, under the order of shark cull leader Premier Colin Barnett, the WA Fisheries department deployed drum lines off Falcon Beach, south of Perth in Western Australia catching and killing a white shark that may or may not have been responsible for an attack on a surfer.
WA Fisheries laid the drum lines, over 18 hours after the incident. They eventually caught a large three metre plus great white shark and they kept it so long on the drum line that it eventually drowned, then waiting till dark to drag it out to sea and dump it, away from the cameras. It’s clear that the WA Fisheries Department is trying to cover up their shameful crimes against nature.
Tragically, on Tuesday 31st of May, a local surfer Ben Gerring was attacked while surfing. His leg was severed above the knee and he is still in a critical condition in hospital. People on the scene, from other surfers to medics, were brave and heroic in their efforts to save Mr. Gerring's life and they should be commended.
A three metre plus white shark had been spotted in the area that day (as notified on the Surf Life Saving WA twitter) and there was a large school of bait fish in area where people were surfing.
Obviously our thoughts are with Mr. Gerring and his family in the hope he pulls through as well as he can.
The tragedy is that this young man has lost his leg. Another tragedy is that it could have been avoided.
A shark was spotted in the vicinity that day, there was bait fish in the area and there is a huge amount of salmon in the area as well, what sharks love to eat. That means a high shark alert. We need to be shark aware, not shark scared.
Not more shark hysteria and no more disrespectful listings on media sites all the victims in the past 10 years or so and how they died, and merely listing them as statistics and reliving the moments for those families again and again, and again. Media does not do this for car crashes or anything else, other than shark incidents. They love to create the hysteria.
We also need shark response kits at beaches, especially remote locations, with a tourniquet and offer training to local surf clubs and beach goers. This is due to the fact that when there is a shark incident, we often loose people through blood loss, so these kits could save lives, a simple and effective solution that could be put in place.
This is being smart, not killing a shark, any shark just for the sake of it, as this does not save lives. But being smart and pro-active as a community can save lives.
We can not stop shark attacks, we can not protect every person on every beach at every minute around Australia's coastline, nor should we expect to have that protection in a natural, wild "marine environment," but we can do more to minimise the risk of unwanted shark encounters happening.
There is no science or logic backing WA Premier Barnett and the WA Fisheries' decision to kill an IUCN red listed protected species, other than revenge and that they believe in the boogie man or films like JAWS. We know that JAWS only exists in places like Hollywood and in the minds of Premier Barnett and the WA Fisheries Department.
The fact that we have bait fish, whales, orcas and sharks off the Western Australian coast is an indication of a healthy marine environment. In todays oceans, this is something that is rare and unique and deserves global acknowledgement and protection.
Healthy oceans, need sharks and we humans can not live on this planet in an ocean without sharks.
We need them, they don't need us and we must give them the protection they deserve, for our own survival as a species depends on it.
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