Shameful Shark Cull in Western Australia

All hail Colin “Neptune” Barnett

All hail Colin “Neptune” Barnett

“WA Premier Colin Barnett has said he is “pleased” to see the controversial catch-and-kill order policy begin after the first shark was killed on Sunday morning.”
» ‘WA’s baited drumlines kill first shark on Australia Day

As a keen diver, kayaker, swimmer & proud sandgroper, I am acutely aware of the inherent dangers of ocean sport. It is an environment I have enormous respect for, and am constantly learning about. I have had a couple of close encounters with sharks, one of them very sobering. I have absolute compassion for those who have lost someone to a shark in recent years – it is a terrible  tragedy. I understand the desire to make ocean sport “safe”; no-one wants to experience grief & loss.

What I do not understand is this utterly senseless slaughter. Apart from the many humane & conservation objections, I’d really rather not have some fly-by-night demi-Neptune destroying a shark and bleeding it into the ocean I swim in. That attracts more sharks.

We choose to pursue adventure in the ocean; an environment that does not belong to us. As someone who regularly spends time in or on the ocean, I believe actively and constantly learning about ocean safety is my responsibility; to ensure my safety and that of those around me, and to conserve that environment.

It is not our right to actively destroy this natural threat. We have learnt to coexist with crocodiles, brown snakes, redbacks and box jellyfish; we are aware of the dangers and behave accordingly. We are Australian, with a global identity of resilience in an incredibly harsh environment. We are proud of our ability to exist here.

This shark cull is a hopelessly ignorant task and a shamefully un-Australian  endeavour. Stop playing Neptune, Mr. Barnett, and cease this stupidity.

» Originally posted on 27/01/2014