Great White Shark Culling?
Read all about this story by going to the following link (a similar article appeared in the South China Morning Post):
Five-fold rise in shark attacks sparks calls for cull of protected great whites
This was my response, in letter to the SCMP (published on Sunday 8 October 2005):
The article in the SCMP (October 2) has certainly sparked debate and yet has not given the shark a chance to defend itself. Again we witness a trophy photo of a surfer holding up his damaged surfboard and the words terror as he probably fought for his life (indeed)...gripping stuff we have all heard and seen before.
Perhaps one other alternative we haven't considered is actually banning marine users from the favoured feeding areas of Great White Sharks.
Can we not issue 'an offence against nature' to those that take the (sometimes deliberate) risk when sharing the same water with the ocean's apex predator? Enough of grabbing front page headlines with near miss shark attacks, and instead fine those that dress up in neoprene and surf in seal rookeries or spearfish in other favoured feeding habitat areas. It's not as though we do not know where the sharks are.
As for putting money on another shark attack this summer (an 18 year old waitress's prediction), this does not sound particularly scientific nor help the sharks fight for survival. I can also guarantee that if I dressed the waitress in a wilder beast costume and asked her to run around the Serengeti National Park then I'd put my money on her being eaten by a lion or attacked by a pack of hyenas.
I suggest we leave the scientific assessment of culling to scientists and marine specialists and not surfers or land based residents; and for once leave the shark an area of ocean where it can swim around and cull those deemed to be over exploiting an area of habitat....if that mistakenly includes humans so be it.