Shark Cull in Western Australia May Disrupt Marine Ecosystem
By Reissa Su | February 5, 2014 6:40 PM EST
The recent shark cull protests have triggered fears of disrupting the ocean's ecosystem if Western Australia is allowed to continue killing sharks. Since the first shark was killed on Australia Day, Jan 26, at least one more shark was killed while trapped in baited drum lines and smaller sharks were released after getting caught.
Animal rights activists gather to denounce controversial programme to cull sharks off coast of Western Australia. February 1, 2014. REUTERS/Julie Noce
Western Australia's official cull comes following seven fatal shark attacks in the last three years. The most recent shark attack was in November 2013 when a 35-year-old surfer died.
According to local reports, authorities did not recover the body of a man who was attacked in one of Perth's popular beaches. Only his damaged swim trunks were left behind. Five of the seven attacks had been by Great White sharks.
While Western Australia's shark cull policy was meant to protect beachgoers, it has alarmed and horrified marine conservationists since it goes against the global effort to protect the declining shark population.
According to the New York Times, opponents of the cull policy have consulted lawyers to try and stop the policy. International celebrities have expressed their opinions about the issue.
Australian underwater cinematographer Valerie Taylor called Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett and other officials as "idiots." Ms Taylor is renowned for filming sharks with husband Ron Taylor. She shot several scenes for the 1975 blockbuster movie "Jaws" - a story about a great white shark attacking New England swimmers.
Sharks are common in Australian waters and are known to wander in popular beaches like Bondi Beach. Authorities have installed nets off the beaches to protect swimmers but the nets have become controversial in New South Wales for catching two sea turtles and two humpback whales. Marine animals trapped for too long might die.
Mr Barnett defends Western Australia's shark cull policy and said the state has tried monitoring and developing warning systems but they were not enough due to the growing population and their access to remote beaches.
To shark conservationists, the shark cull has a broader impact on the marine ecosystem. Sea Shepherd Australia managing director Jeff Hansen said sharks help control the population of other marine animals since they remove the weaker members of the population.
Mr Hansen added that if sharks were removed, the number of stingrays will increase which in turn lead to the eradication of scallops. One species affects the others who are also in the same ecosystem.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Manny Pacquiao Vs. Chris Algieri World Tour Kick Off Press Conference In Macau [PHOTOS]
- Prince Harry & Camilla Thurlow Getting Serious, St. Tropez Holiday Before The Prince’s 30th Birthday [PHOTOS]
- Top 5 Richest Tennis Athletes
- 2014 US Open Update (Day 4 - Men's Singles): Murray, Djokovic, Raonic and Isner Advance to 3rd Round [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Ice Bucket Challenge Toddler Scarlett-Rose Davis Who Uses F-Word Apologises - Watch Original Video
- UFO With Changing Colours Sighted By Lower Paxton Township Police In Pennsylvania
- Musician Tom DeLonge Encounters Multiple UFOs in San Diego
- New Nail Polish Changes Colour When Exposed to Date-Rape Drugs: Helps Women Safety
- A Fish That Walks; Scientists Find A Fish That Does Better On Land Than Water[Video]
- Sept 19 iPhone 6 Release Date Confirmed as Apple Sets Sept 9 iWatch, 2 iPhones Intro - Report
- Nexus 6 Release Date Will Intro Android 5.0 aka Lemon Meringue Pie with Killer Specs & Features
- Hundreds of Men Rape Teen for Three Years
- iPhone 6 Release Date Update: 4.7-Inch Model Scores 65.8% In Screen-To-Size Ratio; A Surprise Entry Scales Top Spot [List Attached]
- Product Recall Alert: Hewlett-Packard Pulls Out 6M Power Cords from US, Canada Over Fire Hazard Concerns, Australia Also Affected
- ISIS Wants $6.6M and Release of Aafia Siddiqui in Exchange of Head of Female US Humanitarian Aid Worker, 1st American Fighting for Jihadis Dead
- Ukraine Ceasefire Looks Remote As Putin Talks Tough At Meeting With Poroshenko