it terrifies me that our governing body, our leaders, appear to utterly lack any reason, any empathy and, above all else, any humanity.
alright, so the premier of western australia, colin barnett, announced in late 2013, that he intended to reduce people being attacked by sharks, by suggesting, effectively, to reduce the number of sharks in the sea. that sounds logical, right?
he proposed, and implemented, strategies to destroy sharks: drum lines in areas of the sea where sharks merrily swim around and go about their business; and by employing ‘contracted killers.’
- a drum line is an unmanned aquatic trap used to lure and capture sharks using baited hooks.
an unmanned baited trap? what is effectively preventing any other marine creature from suffering the traumatic, painful experience often resulting in death intended for a shark?
- ‘contracted killers’ — chew on this — people werepaid moneyto kill sharks on sight: pull them out of the ocean and shoot them in the head and throw their body back to sea.
in a forlorn attempt to justify such insane practices, the western australian premier stated,
“we have had 20 fatal shark attacks in wa in the past 100 years – seven of them in the past three years.”
i am sorry, but does this seem ridiculous to anybody else? twenty fatal shark attacks in the past one hundred years? twenty fatalities? one hundred years?
270 000 sharks are slaughtered every single day.
and during the western australian government’s ‘trial’ of drumlines, one hundred and seventy three sharks were caught and killed in less than 4 months.
let’s break that down for a second.
in less than four months, the number of sharks killed by humans is more than eight times higher, than humans killed by sharks, in the past century—( a three hundred times bigger time period. )
but these are only animals, right? and humans being superior should be able to do anything, wipe out any creature if it suits us?
sure, sharks are actually crucial for our survival; they are a massive part of the aquatic ecosystem, they do what they need to survive, what they’ve done for almost 450 million years — yet, sharks can’t show their pain and fear in a way we recognise, and so in human’s arrogant way, if we can’t understand something, it mustn’t exist, and so a magnificent creature is reverted to an inferior object.
a minor point to add is that the majority of sharks caught in the ‘trial’ were tiger sharks, which have not been responsible for a fatality in wa waters in over two decades.
please don’t misinterpret me:
a human getting killed by a shark is a devastating thing, it really is and i am not trying to say otherwise.
but the culling of sharks in our country, authorised by our government … it is an ineffective, expensive and emotional response to a tragic but very rare event.
shark bites are extremely, extremely unlikely to occur, with the government’s own research showing that western australians have less than one in a million chance of being killed by a great white shark.
i kid you not, a coconut falling on your head is more likely to kill you.
but nobody suggests cutting down all the coconut trees, and it’s for the reason that from a young age, we are taught to fear sharks.
who knows why shark are the reason we, as little kids, are terrified to go into the swimming pool alone.
who knows why we get sucked into the shark horror movies: we relish the deliciously scary thrill, and then come to imagine sharks in our own minds the same way.
nobody portrays coconuts as the ferocious, cold-hearted killer, when in truth they are — compared to sharks.
just as a little sub point to throw in, does anybody understand that sharks are an endangered species?
90% of the world’s sharks have been wiped out.
so understandably, these ‘measures’ are putting an already endangered animal under increased pressure.
yet, despite any logic, despite the evidence and massive community outcry against this, the government of western australia has applied to continue its shark cull for a further three years.
take two seconds to think about this right now:
let’s imagine that we decide and implement strategies to kill one specific organism in an ecosystem. now you don’t have to do biology to realise that destroying a massive number of sharks is going to throw our oceans out of whack for a very, very, very long time.
i can’t even begin to fathom that people in positions of power can lack such reason and empathy.
this is too heavy a price for our oceans.
what can we do? there is a load of petitions out there to sign, here and here — which is heartening to realise that there are fellow humans who are conscious of the impacts we have on this earth.
you can write to the western australian government that you don’t support shark culling and demand that they rethink their plans to bait and kill sharks.
it’s easy to not care because this might not be happening in your state, but take a step back from this situation and just, please, recognise the insanity of it, hey.
these kind of processes sounds like something authorised in the eighteenth century, before humans claimed to have science on our side.
i honestly can’t believe this could be happening right now in our country.
calculated, and yet irrational, on the spot slaughter of a species because their existence bothers us — thinking that murdering sharks willynilly will somehow reduce the already highly unlikely … it is just ludicrous.
i am sorry but when something is so unlikely to happen in the first place, killing a bunch of sharks is not going to stop the chance meeting between a human and a shark.
the biggest thing, i think, is to spread awareness everywhere you go and keep yourself in the know. if you’re keen, there are things you can like on facebook and follow on twitter to stay updated on the shark campaign.
but i would urge you, at the risk of sounding pretentious, urge everyone every chance i get: do our best to keep ourselves aware of what’s happening around us; not just with unjustified killing of sharks, but in general. the world is a big, big place, and it is often sickeningly unfair. it is up to everybody to try to fix any wrong we can.
the western australian shark culling, happening in our country, authorised by our government — our leaders, is an example of something rudimentarily wrong.
it is an abomination of humanity:
the mere thought of continuing such a disgusting, futile, ultimately devastating process is unfathomable to me.