After reading news reports of 32-year-old George Thomas Wainwright being killed in an apparent encounter with a white shark in the waters off Rottnest Island, not far from Perth, Australia, I feel an obligation to chastise local authorities for their efforts to catch and execute the offending beast.
I also feel compelled to admonish those who have suggested that a “rogue” shark is targeting humans in the area.
From the Associated Press (by way of The Huffington Post): “The sudden death of an American diver in the jaws of a great white shark off Australia’s southwest coast has raised the specter of a rogue man-eater preying on a renowned aquatic playground and killing three men in two months.”
The absurdity of that lede is evidenced in the very next sentence of the Associated Press report, which reads: “Scientists say three sharks more likely are responsible, and the three cases are sheerly unfortunate encounters with nature.”
Still, local authorities decided immediately to avenge Mr. Wainwright’s untimely death — and to kiss the ass of the local tourism industry.
A report in the Herald Sun (Australia) tells us: “Fisheries officers have set bait lines in an effort to track down and capture the great white shark, which attacked 32-year-old George Thomas Wainwright, of Texas, near Rottnest Island off the Western Australian coast yesterday. It is the first time in WA a catch-and-kill order has been issued for a killer shark.”
That “catch-and-kill order” may just become a government-sanctioned mass execution.
The Herald Sun report also tells us: “WA Premier Colin Barnett said he would also consider letting commercial fishermen increase their catches of shark off the coastline and a mass cull.”
That despite the fact that “CSIRO white shark expert Barry Bruce said sharks that attacked humans were rarely seen again,” according to the Herald Sun.
Bruce was quoted in the Associated Press report as saying: “What we’ve seen tragically is three cases of people by sheer bad luck being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
I doubt very seriously that Mr. Wainwright would have wanted his accidental, fatal encounter with a white shark avenged by sadistic government officials.
“His love and passion was being on the water,” Mr. Wainwright’s sister Wanda Brannon was quoted as saying in the Associated Press report.
I have every reason to believe that Mr. Wainwright, had he survived his encounter with the white shark, would have shared the attitude of Jupiter, Florida-based scuba instructor Daniel Webb, who commented on my June 14, 2011, post, “Daniel Webb Reacts Appropriately to Shark Bite”: “If anything my respect for sharks and all ocean creatures has increased. I cannot wait to get back to diving the ocean and seeing the all the amazing creatures that live there.”
Many of those “amazing creatures” are less-respected by commercial interests.
According to the Pew Environment Group’s Global Shark Conservation Campaign: “Up to 73 million sharks are killed every year to primarily support the global shark fin industry, valued for the Asian delicacy shark fin soup.”
By comparison, the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida “investigated 115 alleged incidents of shark-human interaction occurring worldwide in 2010. Upon review, 79 of these incidents represented confirmed cases of unprovoked shark attack on humans. ‘Unprovoked attacks’ are defined as incidents where an attack on a live human by a shark occurs in its natural habitat without human provocation of the shark.”
The ISAF tells us: “The number of shark-human interactions occurring in a given year is directly correlated to the amount of time humans spent in the sea.”
The ISAF’s “1700-2010 Map of Australia’s Confirmed Unprovoked Shark Attacks” puts the number of fatal encounters in the waters off Western Australia during that time period at 10.
For those who are eager to instill fear in the more gullible among us, in the aftermath of three fatal encounters in the past two months in the waters off Western Australia, the ISAF explains: “The number of unprovoked shark attacks has grown at a steady pace over the past century with each decade having more attacks than the previous. The growth in shark attack numbers does not necessarily mean that there is an increase in the rate of shark attack, rather it most likely is reflective of the ever-increasing amount of time spent in the sea by humans, which increases the odds of interaction between the two affected parties.”
Clearly, Premier Colin Barnett is a sinister bureaucrat and a sycophantic whore, bending over for Western Australia’s tourism industry.
A greedy bastard named Terry Howson, who is the director of the local tourism-based business Rockingham Wild Encounters, through which patrons arrange to swim with dolphins, was quoted in the Associated Press report as saying: “The nuisance sharks — the problem sharks that move into an area and are aggressive — should be dispatched to remove the risk of future attack. … It’s absolutely hurting the tourist trade. … Australia is getting a name for itself as being full of dangerous animals.”
Mr. Howson and Premier Colin Barnett exemplify the scum among us for whom nature and wildlife are easier to appreciate and exploit when humans are safely in control.