Let's Talk: Is it fair to kill sharks to protect humans?

You might remembering hearing about the teenage surfer who was attacked by a shark in northern New South Wales on Monday.

Well, the Government is considering taking drastic action against sharks in New South Wales where there have been a number of attacks — including one death — this year.

Federal environment minister Josh Frydenberg said he would be open to culling great white sharks to protect surfers and swimmers.

“I absolutely put human safety first and foremost in my mind,” he says.

In NSW it’s illegal to kill great white sharks, with Frydenberg saying any plans for a cull would need to be approved by the Federal Government.

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You might be wondering how it got to this point?

On Monday, September 26, 17-year-old Cooper Allen was bitten on the leg by a 4m shark at Ballina’s Lighthouse Beach.

He was the 14th person to be attacked by a shark in NSW this year, according to Google.

What else is the NSW Government doing?

It has just announced a three-month trial of shark-spotting drones, plus additional drum lines off the coast.

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NSW primary industries minister Niall Blair visited the region today, defending the current shark control measures in place.

He told AAP he didn’t think they had failed.

“What we’ve got here is a suite of measures we haven’t seen before in NSW,” he says.

“It’s a trial period and we will continue to look for a range of solutions for this age-old issue.

“If there’s anything we can do better, we will.”

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Ballina is a particular area of concern with five of the 11 recent attacks in norther New South Wales occurring off the town’s beaches.

Before you panic about being attacked by a shark at the beach, you should look at the statistics.

According to the University of Florida’s International Shark Attack File, your chances of being attacked by a shark are one in 11.5 million.

In fact, according to those statistics, you’re more likely to be killed by a dog, get struck by lightning or drown at the beach.

What do you think? Does a shark attack justify a shark cull? Or should we leave the sharks alone?