Fishers show their true shark hunting bias
Humane Society International (HSI) Campaign Director Michael Kennedy said today, “In the media this week, fishers from Western Australia have started to show their true colours when it comes to the protection of sharks, demanding that long standing bans on killing sharks off Perth’s beaches be lifted.”
It was reported in the media that fishing charter operators and commercial fisherman were calling for the resumption of the killing of bronze whalers, whiskery sharks, and other shark species previously protected off the Perth metropolitan area. They also demanded the right to kill great white sharks that became entangled in their gear and be allowed to catch sharks on lines off Perth for commercial purposes.
Mr Kennedy continued, “As usual these fishers, desperate to be allowed to go and kill more big sharks for private profit and fun, resort to myths about dramatic shark population increases and spreading fear with ugly stories about sightings of shark feeding frenzies. The fact of course is that the science does not support this, and fishers and tour operators are simply using the shark debate to further their own commercial interests. They try and exploit public fear for private gain, and care not for the safety of swimmers or the ecological integrity of WA’s oceans.”
“Sadly,” said Mr Kennedy, “the fishers have been joined by Australian surfer Taj Burrows, who has publicly lent his support to the WA Government’s plans to kill great white sharks and other shark species. Does Mr Burrows not know that the experts are totally opposed to this program, a program which will not make Perth’s beaches any safer, but will certainly damage shark conservation efforts and particularly the recovery of the great white shark?”
Burrows’ stance is in contrast with that of multiple surfing world champion Kelly Slater’s support for the Shark Attack Survivors for Shark Conservation movement, or Sharon Burden, the mother of shark victim Kyle Burden, who last year said she would like to see legal action that required Premier Barnett to provide the scientific evidence for his culling plans.
Mr Kennedy concluded that, “The science is clear, this program is a dangerous nonsense. HSI has been looking at its legal options in an attempt to stop this marine catastrophe.”