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Western Australia Shark Cull Reminds Us Which is the Most Dangerous of All Species

Photo by Terry Goss

Photo by Terry Goss

Yesterday, protesters in Western Australia and across the country gathered on the moral high ground to voice their horrified outrage at a formally declared War on Sharks that will continue at least through April. The “cull” — an uninspired euphemism for “state-sanctioned slaughter” — is ostensibly being carried out in the interest of public safety.

The notion that sharks pose a significant risk to humans is utter nonsense. Two people died in 2013 as a result of encounters with sharks in waters off Australia. Likewise, two humans were killed by sharks in waters off Australia in 2012. According to the International Shark Attack File, sharks killed 16 people in waters off Australia between 2001 and 2012.

As I’ve pointed out previously, Surf Life Saving Australia’s National Coastal Safety Report 2011 indicates that there were “61 coastal drowning deaths” in Australian waters between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011, and “nine coastal drowning deaths, four coastal deaths, and two ocean drowning deaths in Western Australia in 2010-11.”

And yet, to my knowledge, no self-righteous policymaker has suggested banning ocean recreation to protect people from themselves.

Even if fatal shark attacks were occurring more frequently than they are — which is rarely, by any reasonable measure — it’s incredibly callous for humans to pretend to be solving a problem that we all know doesn’t exist. Men become monsters when they decide to drag magnificent creatures from their natural habitats to satisfy a selfish and destructive desire for total control.

Western Australia’s War on Sharks is about nothing more than the brutal exercise of that control. It’s about madmen flexing their mean-spirited entitlement, their heartless arrogance, and their shameless ruthlessness.

When the slaughter has been carried out, these murderous fiends will have accomplished nothing good. They will have flexed their punitive muscles and struck and evil pose, all but daring sharks to break man’s merciless rules. And when a future shark-human encounter goes wrong for the latter, the Nazis in Western Australia’s ivory tower will likely once again be eager to call on their commercial death squads to remind all species which is the most dangerous of all.

As far as I’m concerned, the wrong species is being culled.


  1. abigail wrote:

    There goes my trip to Australia off my list.

    Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink
  2. Vanessa Baker wrote:

    Please note recent polls show 90% of the WA public disagree with the WA government policy. We will continue to protest to get this disgraceful policy turned around.

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 3:36 am | Permalink
  3. Mark wrote:

    The government isnt going to turn this around… they are protecting the pockets of their rich mates in the tourist trade. The sharks are collateral damage to making things “safe” for a bunch of tourists who probably dont give a crap and wouldnt even go in the water anyway.

    Sunday, January 26, 2014 at 8:51 am | Permalink

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