This post is a bit of a rant really, but maybe it will stir up a little conversation and debate! This one came about from a post on Facebook and a report on the BBC website. The post and report talk about plans by the Western Australian government to cull sharks in their waters. The idea goes like this: set up 72 baited hooks about 1km from the shore to intentionally trap sharks, measure them, and callously kill any over 3 metres in size. While this sounds a big fish, it covers a number of species in Australian waters including the Tiger, Bull and Great White sharks.
Ok, yes, I am a fan of sharks (pretty impressive piece of natural engineering in my view!) but this is just human stupidity at its best. Sharks accounted for 2 fatalities in Australia in 2013. Drowning accounted for 290 deaths, and 1,600 were linked to alcohol. If the government banned swimming in the sea, then instead of preventing just 2 deaths, they would prevent 292. More lives saved, without killing a single shark.
Sharks have swum the oceans for millions of years doing what nature and natural selection intended them to do: hunt. Suddenly strange air breathers come in to their worlds swimming on pieces of wood, they accidentally kill a few in the pursuit of food and survival, and those in power decide to wipe them all out. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against surfers – most of them are fully aware of the risks in their pursuit, it’s the politicians I take issue with! Sharks are the top predators on Earth, with some impressive senses to help them out. And as a by-product of this, they keep the ecosystem in check, ensuring a balance in species numbers. Kill the sharks; you kill the ecosystem, pretty simple really.
Here’s an idea – why don’t we bait some hooks with cash to catch the politicians? Any that are too stupid to spot the trap should be thrown to the sharks. And then the balance of human intelligence and natural order will be restored! 🙂
I hope this sparks some debate and conversation! I am always open to differing views, so whether you agree or disagree with my opinions – put them in the comments and lets have a healthy debate! 🙂