Terrifying Shark Attacks Aren't Reason to Kill Great Whites

great white sharkA 32-year-old man from Houston is the latest victim of the great white shark attacks that have been happening off the coast of southwestern Australia. In the last two months, three men have suffered fatal injuries after unfortunate encounters with the giant fish while swimming and diving off one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Known for its white sandy shores, fantastic surf breaks, and renowned scuba activities, officials are probably starting to wonder if these attacks will hurt tourism or color the area in an unfavorable light.

No one wants to be the mayor of Shark City, but catching and killing great whites is not the answer. They should reel in those tuna-baited hooks already and let sharks be sharks.

Advertisement

The fear of being attacked by a great white is something most of us can relate to. After you've seen Jaws, it's hard to go in the water and not assume that a piece of seaweed that brushes your toe is in fact a 20-foot shark that's about to start devouring you extremity by extremity. We all know the odds of that happening are extremely rare, but still it's in the back of our minds.

So the fact that these great white attacks are occurring with some frequency and regularity is indeed something to worry about, but it's not something we should try and fix. The government of Western Australia has lifted the protection law covering great whites and has set tuna-baited hooks off the coast in hopes of capturing the predators, but it's totally ridiculous. What are they going to do, try and remove all the great whites from their natural habitat? They're even thinking about a shark cull, which would net off areas and lift bans on hunting great whites.

Obviously I'm all for the safety of my fellow human beings, but if you don't want to be attacked, stay out of the water. Don't go swimming in the area until the sharks have moved on. A shark cull can seriously mess up the eco-system balance -- removing a predator can be extremely disruptive. Sharks are just being sharks and the attacks are nothing more than horrible chance meetings with nature.

Catching, killing, or culling the sharks just seems totally unnecessary, if not reckless. We shouldn't try and exact revenge on wild animals that are just following their instincts. I say leave the sharks alone and warn beach-goers about the risks. Let's keep the sharks, and the people, as safe as possible.

Do you think the great whites should be caught, killed, or culled?

 

Photo via hermanusbackpackers/Flickr

Read More >