In the aftermath of the sad passing of medical researcher Daniel Christidis following a shark bite incident at Cid Harbour, the Queensland Government is continuing with efforts to inform the public and especially tourists to the Whitsunday’s region with information about suitable places to swim.
Whilst Cid Harbour is locally known as a no-go zone for swimming, there are many beautiful places in the area that are very low risk.
This is a time when Government must not bow to the shrill calls and grandstanding from sections of the tabloid media and political opposition. People’s lives are actually at stake here and a sensible informed educative approach is best.
Managing the behaviour of people is challenging but controlling a wild place and sanitising the ocean is clearly impossible. Attempts to do so only lead to developing a false sense of security which in itself is a dangerous thing.
Sea Shepherd Australia supports the current approach in deploying signage and notices to places where it is clearly unsafe to swim. This is a far better approach both for safety and tourism and is a well-established method when it comes to stingers and crocodiles. Nothing will smash the tourism industry more than producing dead sharks for the world to see, which was the outcome when drumlines were rolled out in Cid Harbour in September.
We are at a crossroads. People are now understanding that lethal measures of shark bite mitigation are ineffective and a waste of public money. Our government seems to be learning and we are hoping that there are moves towards the implementation of non-lethal methods informed by science to mitigate the possibility of further shark bite incidents.
Queensland Coordinator - Apex Harmony Campaign
Sea Shepherd Australia