ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) has reported that a fatal shark attack on Saturday claimed the life of a man who was spearfishing in waters off Yorke Peninsula, in South Australia. The incident — a measure of karmic retribution, I’d like to think — should be viewed as an example of an extremely rare occurrence and not as more evidence of the shark problem officials in Western Australia claim they’re trying to solve.
If there is a shark-related problem in Australia, it’s the bloodthirsty cabal of public officials in Western Australia who’re waging a savage War on Sharks. If Saturday’s fatal attack in waters off South Australia represents a law of nature at work, the murderous policy Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett has implemented on behalf of tourism-industry greed-heads can be viewed as the brutal enforcement of an arbitrary, immoral, and merciless rule enacted by arrogant, self-serving men.
As much as tourism-industry greed-heads are hoping the War on Sharks will prop up their bottom lines, I’m hoping the state-sanctioned slaughter has the opposite effect.
Citing information gathered by the Australia- and New Zealand-based research firm UMR, The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that “82 per cent (of Australians polled) don’t think that sharks should be killed and say people enter the water at their own risk.”
Predictably, Barnett’s War on Sharks was launched in the interest of “public safety,” a totally bogus excuse for such a brutal slaughter given that only a statistically insignificant number of humans die each year as a result of encounters with sharks.
Not at all fooled by the government’s nonsense, great numbers of activists have gathered on beaches across Western Australia and beyond to protest the shameful War on Sharks. If they haven’t already, the good people who represent that impassioned majority might want to consider hitting the ostensible beneficiaries of the state-sanctioned slaughter where it hurts.
The owners and operators of tourism-driven businesses in Western Australia should make public their support for or opposition to Barnett’s War on Sharks. Those who oppose it should be encouraged to place photographs of sharks in their storefront windows, and those who unconscionably support it should be pressured to do the same with photographs of Barnett. Business owners who claim to be agnostic on the issue should be treated as de facto supporters of Barnett’s loathsome policy. To be agnostic on Barnett’s War on Sharks is to be part of the problem.
This isn’t some benign municipal zoning issue. This is about people in positions of power deciding that they have the right to eliminate a portion of a vital and magnificent population. Those who’ve bought into the fearmongering should stand up to be counted and they should suffer the economic consequences.