Western Australian Shark Cull Essay

1612 words - 7 pages

Off the coast of Western Australia lives a species of animal scientists don't know much about, a species vital in maintaining a balanced ecosystem, a species who's numbers are rapidly declining, and this species is the great white shark. The western Australian government has passed a new law, that any shark that comes within 1 kilometre of the shore line at popular swimming destinations and over 3m long can be captured and killed and have its body dumped out at sea. This new act of beach safety is a completely inhumane and illogical way of dealing with our current shark attack problem. These sharks have been swimming in those waters long before we have. Sharks are natural predators and the ocean is their natural habitat, not ours. The idea that individually killing off our already endangered marine life is going to make the slightest difference is quite frankly completely stupid. There is absolutely no scientific evidence to support the idea that this will actually lower shark attack numbers and I doubt the government is going to find any. How can we justify fighting with other counties for killing off our endangered marine life such as the blue whale when we are doing it ourselves? Considering more people die from bee stings each year than they do from shark attacks with the average annual death rate being between 0-3, I think the government is completely over reacting over a very minuscule issue. We need to stop the Western Australian government making a devastatingly bad decision before they permanently harm our endangered marine ecosystem.

The biggest issue about the shark cull is that we have absolutely no right in doing it. If we choose to enter their natural habitat that's our problem and we should be careful about it. Instead of using 2million dollars to kill the sharks off, instead we should be using that money to teach people to be aware of sharks and how to defend and avoid getting bitten by one. The western Australian premier, the man responsible for this shark cull has said “This is, after all, a fish - let's keep it in perspective”. I don't personally think that the premier has the authority to make this kind of judgement. Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999, it is an offence to 'kill, injure, take, trade, keep, or move any member of a listed threatened species on Australian Government land or in Commonwealth waters without a permit'. I don't believe anyone should have an exception to this rule, even the western Australian premiere.

According to Australia's environmental ministers, a very large percentage of environmental scientists say there is absolutely no evidence to support the fact that these means of capture and this cull, will work in preventing the already low number of shark attacks. Shark nets don't work as a complete barricade, they don't go all the way to the sea floor and don't stretch across the entire length of the beach. Shark Defence Australia has estimated that 40% of the...

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