Attack the Shark Attack

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A beautiful white shark swims peacefully in its own habitat and tries not to be culled. Image copyright Richard Green/The Californian via AP.

In a story published on The Project’s website today, the NSW Government are set to announce a $250,000 campaign to reduce the number of shark attacks on the state’s beaches.

According to tonight’s show, the initiative to be undertaken by the NSW Government is not a cull, but will involve tagging and monitoring ‘so-called’ problem sharks, and researching the effectiveness of shark deterrent technologies, such as an air curtain that blows bubbles to separate swimmers from sharks.

NSW Premier and Member for Manly Mike Baird answered questions on tonight’s show about the issue, and although one of the hosts pointed out that WA’s trial of the air curtain was deemed unsuccessful, he said he would still go ahead with the review.

I’m happy to investigate further research.

Mike Baird

He also said that they will not be exploring the use of nets due to their knock-on effect on other marine life. I applaud this decision.

The government’s response is of course in answer to community concerns over an increase in the population of an endangered animal.

Endangered species of shark

According to the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment’s website, the threatened species of shark are as follows.

There are recovery programs and national action plans to help boost shark numbers, which will unfortunately take a while because of their slow fecundity rate.

Minimising the risk of shark attacks

The Australian Shark Attack File lists easy and commonsense precautions you can take to minimise your risk of becoming the victim of a shark attack.

These include:

  1. Swim at beaches that are patrolled by Surf Life Savers,
  2. Do not swim, dive, or surf where dangerous sharks are known to congregate,
  3. Avoid swimming well offshore, near deep channels, at river mouths, or along drop-offs to deeper water,
  4. If schooling fish start to behave erratically or congregate in large numbers, leave the water, and
  5. If a shark is sighted in the area leave the water as quickly and calmly as possible,

among others. Find the full list here.

One of the world’s deadliest animals

Although the shark is listed as one of the most deadliest animals in the world, this creature is responsible for the least amount of human deaths per year in comparison to other deadly animals.

Sharks live in the ocean

This may be stating the obvious, but the most annoying thing about anything shark-cull-related is that the plan is developed due to an increase in shark sightings in a particular area, or the hyped-up fear that always closely follows a shark attach, fatal or otherwise.

Take the Mick Fanning incident, for example. Fanning’s celebrity status and the fact that the incident took place on television evidently boosted the reaction to this encounter, but the reaction was there all the same.

My point is that we are entering the shark’s natural habitat, not ours. We evolved standing upright on two legs and without fins, flippers, or webbed anything for a reason.

Surfers also know that they are entering the shark’s territory, and are fully aware of the dangers they face every time they do so.

Created in Meme Generator.

Created in Meme Generator.

Chill out and go for a relaxing swim

Of course you are going to see sharks in the ocean.

No, it isn’t cause for panic if shark numbers are increasing. This is actually a good thing, seeing as they are, you know, facing extinction and all.

I would just like to end by recognising how appropriate Premier Baird’s plans for reviewing non-harmful methods of deterring sharks from swimming beaches are, especially compared to some other government shark safety precautions.

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