Calls for sharks to be culled after another shark attack in NSW

Another unprovoked shark attack has been recorded in New South Wales, after a 25-year-old surfer at Ballina took himself to

Another unprovoked shark attack has been recorded in New South Wales, after a 25-year-old surfer at Ballina took himself to hospital suffering a lower leg injury.

It is the sixth unprovoked shark attack in New South Wales in 2016, and the 16th case of a shark attack in Australia this year.

Surfer Scott Crump was at Sharpes Beach in Ballina on the NSW north coast when he says he was bitten on the lower leg and his board was mauled.

Crump revealed he had been surfing roughly 50m from where 17-year-old Cooper Allen had been bitten on the leg three weeks ago, though it is not clear what type of shark “took a chunk out of his shin”.

As summer approaches, it does raise the question about what authorities can and should be doing to address such situations.

Public attitudes are certainly shifting when it comes to culling. In fact, in the last 30 years the trend toward a better balance between wildlife, marine life and human value has increased.

In 2012, when the Western Australian Government announced it would spend $2 million on a new service to track, catch and destroy sharks that get too close to swimmers, a poll on The West Australian website showed 82 per cent of respondents were opposed to the plan.

When a shark attacks, the beaches get closed, as is the case in Ballina right now.

That Ballina has made the headlines for a shark attack is not new. In 2015 there were at least 12 shark attacks in the area, one of which was fatal. Locals say another fatal shark attack is “just a matter of time”.

“I used to be the guy who thought you’re in their territory… there’s a really minor chance of it happening, like getting hit by a car or whatever, you just deal with it but when it actually happens it changes everything. It really gives you a different outlook on it — that you can have your life taken so quickly,” local surfer Nathan Bartlett — who was friends with the surfer mauled to death by a great white in Februrary last year, Tadashi Nakahara, told the ABC.

When the first attacks occurred the NSW Government held a shark summit at Taronga Zoo and an independent evaluation of the available technology to deal with the problem was made — from eco barriers to drum lines and even nets.

Until recently the NSW Government had ruled out culling sharks or extending nets, but that might be under review with this latest attack.

What are your thoughts — do repeated shark attacks in one location warrant a shark cull? What other options would you suggest to address the issue?

  1. Has anyone done a study on numbers of swimmers in the sharks domain? There has probably been a large increase in swimmer/surfer numbers in recent years, and separating sharks and water users (with nets) seems logical to me.

  2. Pam Johnston  

    Leave the sharks alone. It is their home

  3. Susan  

    Who do we think we are that we can go into their home and say Kill them because they are attacking us ! It’s where they live, We live on land they live in the water !!!

  4. Pamela  

    Why are sharks important?

    Around the world sharks are in big trouble, with over 90% of the world’s sharks wiped out through fishing, cruel shark fining and shark mitigation strategies. As a result, between 70 and 100 million sharks die a year. That’s over 10,000 every hour. Few know, often blinded by misguided fears, of the shark’s current struggles and the impact this could have on human life. Sharks are quickly headed for extinction.

    A number of scientific studies have demonstrated that the depletion of sharks results in the loss of commercially important fish and shellfish species down the food chain, including key fisheries such as tuna that maintain the health of coral reefs. As important apex predators, sharks have shaped marine life in the oceans for over 450 million years and are essential to the health of our oceans, and ultimately to the survival of humankind.

  5. Melissa Temple Smith  

    Apart from the fact that sharks are already cruelly killed in their thousands by humans, in all of the ways mentioned by other people in this comments stream, sharks are part of a complex ecosystem. If you take the a top predator away, the numbers of other species will balloon, often with unpredictable and dire consequences. Conversely, when you reintroduce a species back into an area where it had been previously “removed”, the balance of life will be restored. Look up the reintroduction of Wolves into Yellowstone National Park. Sharks have been around since the age of the dinosaurs. Don’t let this generation of humans be the ones who go down in history as the people who made any species of shark extinct.

  6. Colin Callan  

    Why is always assumed that when we humans enter the water that we should just kill purely for the safety of the few. Top tip – If you don’t want to get eaten by a shark then stay out of the water or only swim where nets are used to keep the sharks away.

    Us humans are such selfish idiots!

  7. Tanya  

    I’m wondering why all of a sudden there has been an increase of shark attacks? Is it because more people are entering the water? Is it due to fish populations decreasing from over fishing? What is going on? Maybe we need to figure that out before we cull sharks. culling just gives people a false sense of security, and when does it stop? Who decides when enough is enough. Will it be once all the sharks are dead. Do we cull till extinction?

  8. Helen  

    Enter the sea become part of the food chain. Stop the surfers instead of killing one of nature’s most amazing creations 😔

  9. Ric  

    Unprovoked? UNPROVOKED?! Words fail me.

  10. There is a reason for all animals and mammals, to take any away changes the whole food chain and way off life, there home is the sea, unless you are a mermaid, then presume you live on land, so if you want to go in the sea then it is your choice, why should they be culled would the same happen vice versa NO

  11. Richard Hayter  

    Here’s the other side of our frequently dumb species. Contrast this with the fabulous story about wolves in Yellowstone.

    Great Whites aren’t furry, cuddly or remind us of dogs but when somebody writes about ‘unprovoked’ attacks I despair. When in the sea accept you’re in the Sharks domain. You’re food for Zed’s sake!

    I wonder if the Daily Moo writes about the unprovoked attacks in the abattoir?

    We can be a remarkably dim and selfish species. Do we deserve this planet?

  12. Anthony Franklin  

    If sharks had walked into land and started eating people in the streets, then yes, I’d have to agree, that some kind of deterrent should be put in place. But as these swimmers are in a shark rich environment, then that is the nature of the beast, and a risk that these swimmers choose to take. If we’re going to cull anything, it should be the recreational swimmers. Also, stop this cage diving lark, as it brings sharks in and the associate people with food.

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