18th July 2012 -SYDNEY
the spate of recent shark attacks in Western Australia, Humane Society
International (HSI) has called on the Western Australian Government to look
into all aspects that may be affecting shark behaviour. HSI believes
there may be a possible connection between the export of live sheep from
Freemantle, Western Australia, and reported shark attacks.
year, thousands of dead sheep are thrown overboard as ships depart Australian
ports for the Middle East, either whole or minced, without care or
consideration for the consequences of these actions,” said Alexia
Wellbelove of Humane Society International. “It is highly likely that
the disposal of animal remains in this way will attract large sharks over a
wide distance. This attraction of large sharks may have dreadful consequences.
HSI is concerned that one of these consequences may be increased incident of
has today written to the West Australian and Federal Government with a
documented list of shark attacks and presence of live export vessels, urging
them to investigate possible links.
list shows that on a number of occasions, and particularly over the past ten
months, there appears to be a strong connection between shark attacks and the
presence of live export vessels in the area. Anecdotal reports from fishermen
suggest that sharks are able to recognise individual vessels, meaning these
export vessels will result in a concentration of the shark population when the
vessels are present as the sharks seek an ‘easy’ meal,” continued Ms
Dr Peter Kerkenezov, a master mariner, veterinarian and
commercial diver who has been interested in sharks for many
years said, “It is highly
probable sharks can identify individual livestock vessels whether they are
carrying livestock or not.” It is not unexpected that sharks
escort these ships around the Australian coast and across the Indian Ocean to
the Red Sea and elsewhere, and then back to Australia.
shark attacks in Egypt in 2010 first alerted HSI to possible links between live
export and shark attacks. Following these attacks, Egypt launched a campaign to
clear territorial waters of dead sheep in December 2010.
focus of all debate to date has been the alleged increase in shark numbers
being the cause of increased shark attacks. There is no information whatsoever
to suggest that the numbers of great white sharks are on the increase, so it is
imperative that all other factors involved are thoroughly investigated,”
continued Ms Wellbelove.
“We urge the Western Australian and Federal Governments
to urgently examine this possible link between shark attacks and live export
vessels, and stop calling for the killing or removal of protection for great
white sharks. In the meantime the live export industry must cease the dumping
of sheep carcasses overboard from vessels until the impacts of this practice
can be further investigated,” concluded Ms Wellbelove.
has been exporting sheep to the Middle East since 1981.
30 years millions of dead and dying sheep have been thrown overboard from the
export ships on their way to the Northern Hemisphere and the Australian
Government and industry now accept an attrition rate of <2% of the total number
of loaded animals.
list of shark attacks and presence of live export vessels
September 4, 2011: Kyle
Burden was killed while body boarding with friends at Bunker Bay, near
Dunsborough, in Western Australia. (28.8.2011
MV “Al Shuwaikh” arrives off coast @ 1315. Did not go into Port but diverted to
Adelaide to collect sheep from stricken MV “Al Messilah” in Adelaide. 7.9.2011 MV “Al Shuwaikh” arrives @ 1800 with
sheep taken from MV “Al Messilah”. Top loaded in Fremantle and left at 8.9.2011
@ 1930). MV “Maysora” in @ 1600hrs
loaded Fremantle over 2 days and on 4- 5.9.2011 left @ 2300. 12.9.2011 MV “Al Messilah” in Fremantle to
top load. Arrived ex Adelaide partly
loaded and left 15.9.2011 @ 1700.
10, 2011 Bryn Martin, taken presumably by a great white shark off Cottesloe
“Bader” off coast of Cottesloe and MV “Ocean Shearer” left Fremantle on
October 22, 2011 US citizen, George Thomas
Wainwright, was diving near Little Armstrong Bay at Rottnest Island when
attacked by a suspected great white shark. MV “Bader”
still anchored off Cottesloe. MV “Al
Messilah” arrived to anchor in Gage Roads on 23.10.2011.
November 1, 2011 Two large white sharks
observed at Rottnest Island. MV “Bader" left loaded 31.10.2011.
January 14, 2012 Swanbourne angler lands 3m
tiger shark. MV
“Al Shuwaikh loaded
in port 14 -15.1.2012.
January 20 2012 Tourism operator mauled by a
shark at Coral Bay, about 150 km south of Exmouth. MV “Al Shuwaikh
loaded in port 14 &15.1.2012. Left
for Middle East travelling northward.
March 31, 2012 Peter Kurmann, 33,
died after a fatal attack while diving about 1600m off Stratham Beach, between
Busselton and Bunbury. A Great White shark is believed to
have been responsible for the death. MV
”Al Shuwaikh” entered Fremantle 1.4.2012 @17.45.
20 2012 Surf ski paddler Martin Kane, 62, survived the terrifying encounter
with the 3m shark, believed to be a Great White, during a regular morning
paddle with three mates about 7.15am 150m
from shore near Mullaloo Beach. The Mullaloo Surf Club member
was thrown into the ocean when the shark rammed his ski and then latched onto
it near Pinnaroo Point. MV “Bader” into port June 19th and out 22 June 2012.
9. June 2012 TWO fishermen have filmed a 90-minute
close encounter with two large great white sharks which continually circled
their fishing boat off the WA coast. The
spectacular footage of the two Great Whites -- measuring 3.5m and 4m shows the
sharks circling the boat off the coast of Dunsborough, 250km south of
Perth. MV “Maysora” left Adelaide on 8.6.2012 and
arrived Fremantle 13.6.2012 @10.04pm partly loaded. Departed 14.6.2012 @ 4.40p. 19.6.2012 MV “Bader” into Fremantle
10.38. Out @10.30pm. MV “Al Shuwaikh” sitting off coast 3.7.2012
11 2012 Surfer Ben Pobar, 21, was 'bailed up' by 3m shark off South Trigg beach
. MV “GHENA
into port 11.7.2012 @ 12.30am. Friday 13th
ship remained in port. Ship leaves at 10.38pm.
11. July 14 2012 Surfer Ben Linden, killed by great
white shark near Wedge Island, about 160 km north of Perth. MV “GHENA” out of port 13.7.2012 @ 10.38pm.
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