Australia’s controversial plans to reduce the population of sharks in surrounding seas entailed of very little thought and high fear-mongering tactics.
The cull was an attempt to protect beach-goers from potential attack, but was this a largely Jaws-inspired fear campaign that wasn’t properly thought through?
Do sharks actually pose a threat to Australians?
Even though the Australian media constantly alarms the threat of shark attacks to swimmers and beach-dwellers, the figures never match the claim.
According to the Australian Shark Attack File (ASAF), sharks have killed 52 people in the past 50 years (so, roughly one per year) in Australian waters. 172 sharks were killed in Western Australia in 2014.
Considering how dramatic the increase in swimmers and the population has been in recent years, these statistics reflect that a threat is not posed by swimmers in THE SHARK’s water.
The government statistics bureau states that shark attacks are so infrequent that you are far more likely to be accidentally suffocated in bed.
Western Australia’s population > shark attack ratio is a major factor in proving that these supposedly “man-eating monsters” need to be maintained. 2016 proved that there were fewer shark-related fatalities than the previous year according to EarthSky.
The idea of “decreasing” fatalities is plain and simple. Take some cars off the road and naturally, you will reduce the amount of road accidents. However, this doesn’t mean that people won’t be killed.
How do they actually cull sharks in Australia? A helicopter – fixed with a shark radar — hovers above the shark hotspots (and wherever the radar tells them to) and should the “culler” spot one, and then a spear gun is used to fire a 17-inch spear into the back of its head.
This makes me question why the government would declare the great white shark (supposedly the main tyrant) a ‘vulnerable species’ and yet still insist on killing them off in order to maintain safer beaches. There has never been a recorded incident in the last 60 years of a shark intentionally swimming to shallow waters to attack an unsuspecting human.
In an interesting standpoint; estimates show that the average of bee-sting related DEATHS are much much higher on Earth than shark attacks.
Once more, researchers claim you are far more-likely to be killed by the weather than ripped to shreds by a six metre diamond-toothed shark.
So is Australia on a vengeance to kill sharks? And what do we do if it doesn’t bring the number of one death per year down to 0?
The Western Australia cull stopped in 2014 and since then there have been plenty of surfers supporting new measures to ‘protect’ them.