Stop The Western Australia Shark Cull
In response to a handful of fatal shark bites over the past several years, the government of Western Australia has launched a multi-million dollar effort to systematically catch and kill sharks, allegedly to “protect the people of Western Australia”. This is in direct opposition to Australia’s existing Shark Recovery Plan. I guess when you call something a “cull” it’s supposed to sound more acceptable than “indiscriminate killing of a keystone ocean species.”
Today I join with thousands around the world (what up, Ricky Gervais?) to say that this must stop. This is not supported by science. Hundreds of marine biologists agree.
More than 100 million sharks are killed per year, for food and fear, pushing many of them, like the great white, to the brink of extinction. Meanwhile, you could count the number of fatal shark attacks every year on one hand.
You have a 1 in 3,700,000 chance of dying from a shark biting you. In contrast, you have a 1 in 63 chance of dying from the flu. Shark bites are a rare event, and fatal ones are astronomically rare. Sharks don’t actually attack humans, this is an invented term that implies that sharks are out to get people. They are not. “Rogue sharks,” those that specifically seek out humans for food, are a myth. Sharks are apex predators who keep ecosystems healthy and keep food webs in balance, all the way down to the plant level.
Instead of killing sharks, we should be using this money to study them, to track their behavior and migrations, or even to install automatic alert and surveillance systems.
See that photo above, under mine? That’s the WA cull’s first victim, a tiger shark, being dispatched this week. The cull is wrong on many levels, but it took four shots with that .22 to kill the shark, and that is adding greater inhumanity to an inhumane act.
Join me in calling for an end to the Western Australia shark cull. Download the #noWAsharkcull sign here, add your face to the thousands protesting this cull, and tag your photos with #nosharkcull and #noWAsharkcull.
You can find more information on shark conservation at Support Our Sharks and there’s a petition in place on Change.org.
We can make a difference!
I’d just like to thank everyone for getting this to go global.
The WA government won’t listen to the outrage of its own people, but maybe they’ll bend under international pressure.