BEFORE I BEGIN PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO SIGN THIS PETITION.http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/the-western-australian-government-call-off-plan-to-cull-sharks-near-wa-beaches#
Shark Attacks In Perspective
Compared to deaths from other forms of water related activity the number of fatal shark attacks in Australia is extremely low. In the last 50 years, there have been 50 recorded unprovoked fatalities due to shark attack, which averages one per year. Australians have a 1 in 3,362 chance of drowning at the beach and a 1 in 292,525 chance of being killed by a shark in one’s entire lifetime. There is an element of risk in any activity we undertake.
I am an absolute water baby always have been, as a small child and I mean 8 years old. I would go with my father out to a place called Beaumaris a beach side town in Melbourne. Here my father would launch the speedboat into the water..we would walk on the rocky seabed to push it out far enough to get in and take off..we would go so far out that land was nowhere in sight..now my father was not the most responsible..yes we had life jackets but sunscreen was never put on and I would sit up on the front of the boat while he drove ..I had the seaspray hit my face from the waves as we banged through them ..each wave jolting us and me loving every minute….I was fearless…it was the one time I ever felt my father and I had a good time. When we got out to the right spot (as far as he could assume was good for fishing) he would throw the anchor overboard into the black dark dark green ocean, this was my favourite time! I would launch myself into that water ..no fear ..it was always so warm in the first top layer but then beneath that layer it was cold..very cold..and often I felt fish around my legs or seaweed..it was paradise. I would jump back onto the boat and then start fishing.. catching barracouta , flathead and snapper.Lunch and then back in the water.
My point is I love the sea , and people my think I as an inland bush girl have no real experience with the oceans but I spent every summer holiday at the beach and in the oceans..and when hubby and I retire it will be to the ocean…it always draws me.
Now one day while I was swimming close to shore at this beach I was struck just below the knee by something that felt like a knife..my father was out in the boat my mother..well I have no idea..I screamed it was incredibly painful and this lovely Italian man ..I will never forget him ..picked me up and rushed me to a tap and washed the wound which was sizeable and bleeding profusely..he had a funny bandage which he applied….still no idea where my mother was. What had happened was I had trodden on a stingray that was clearly well covered by sand and as I have it has whipped it’s barbed tail around….not it’s fault..i trod on it in it’s home! .
I have swum in the oceans I have scuba dived, snorkelled , and sailed..i have never felt fear of being attacked by a shark. We take risks everyday and when we enter an environment that is NOT ours then we take chances. These creatures pose no threat to us in OUR homes and play a vital role as Apex predators in maintaining the balance in our aquatic world . Fear is such a destructive emotion…do we remove cars from the highways due to 1484 transport related deaths a year? what about the deaths from assault 217 a year ..864 accidental poisoning deaths a year …obesity related deaths 221 a year.. falling from ladders kills 27 people a year.. I could go on…compare this with 4 deaths from contact with marine animals…these statistics for Australia come from The Australian Bureau of Statistics (which I once worked for) In total 140.000 deaths in 2010 in Australia.. the above recorded amongst them .
So Western Australian Government has mandated a cull on sharks.. and so it seems that again money is the main motivation…tourists might not come to the area…outrage at possible loss of income..the money to be spent a budget of $2 Million dollars…with the hunters getting over $5 thousand dollars a shark…do you imagine they care what size or species…well no already they have been killing undersized sharks… Great Whites, the most feared of all ,are Listed as Vulnerable by The International Union for Conservation of Nature while there are no Official figures estimates are that the numbers could be as low as 3000.
These animals are killed slowly as the knowledge of humane killing is not high on the agenda.They are being hooked shot repeatedly and then dumped at sea.
I am no expert but it seems to me that you need to respect your world and the creatures that live in it, they are there for a reason, they do not hunt us down they merely exist in a world we decide to encroach on, I have no doubt that by culling sharks we will not solve the problem of shark attacks, not unless you kill every shark and the results would be an ocean ecosystem thrown out of order.
We believed cats to be witches minions slaughtered them en masse in England and received in return the gift of the Bubonic Plague as the rat population thrived.
The clearing of the acreage next to us for a house to be built …. a small change you would think to the environment …has seen no return of our Echidnas, an increase in birdlife to our property and even no snake sightings..so imagine this huge change to the oceans and the resulting effects on the native species that live within.
What an extraordinary animal, the perfect Apex predator, the perfect killing machine, millions of years in the making and without a doubt beautiful.
I have been signing petitions as many as I can , i cannot get to protests otherwise I would, I still have no fear of the ocean and will continue to enjoy it well aware that I am playing in another animals home and respectful rather than fearful is how I view the sea.