Sharks in WA and crocodiles in NT

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 18:27
ThreadID: 105991 Views:4237 Replies:13 FollowUps:78
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I am really struggling with the culling of the sharks in WA. Now, a tragic death in the NT and a few crocs killed.

People do need to take responsibility for their own safety but I see it as a tragedy with no blame.

I get the culling goats, camels and other populations that get out of balance, but large sharks in their ocean?

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Reply By: Lyn W3 - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 18:44

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 18:44
I agree 100%
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Reply By: Stephen L5 - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:00

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:00
Agree as well, although in this case I do feel a little sorry for the WA government. Last year they had everyone jumping up and down to do something about the sharks. They have put in place a plan (bad plan in my opinion - but someone with more knowledge on the subject must have sold it too them) and now another group aren't happy...
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:12

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:12
yep Barnet was caught between a rock and a hard place

Killing sharks is definitly NOT his prefered option

people were jumping up and down demanding action for a few years now and he continually resisted opting for increasing survealence both arially and the acoustic tags

he also increased funding into shark studies to see if there was a solutiion there
as well as the catch and kill policy which was always unlikely to end up with dead sharks

people were telling him he was doing nothing and would have blood on his hands

after the last couple of deaths he was forced to do something .....

and Lo and behold now hes being accused of acting hastily

its time like that im not sure Id be a pollie ...

OH and im against it but I can see why he did it
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:37

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:37
Have to agree Skull. It appalls me. Anecdotally most of those taken and injured (surfers seem to be high on the list) and the famillies of victims don't seem to support the indiscriminate slaughter of sharks. "Rogue" crocs are often "relocated" before they do fatal damage but that's not a realistic option for sharks. Given the statistics of shark attacks it's nothing more than a kneejerk over-reaction. Barnett can't wriggle out of the responsibility. Alternatively he should embark on a snake cull followed closely by a tree cull but I guess that wouldn't be populist.
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Follow Up By: rocco2010 - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:51

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:51
Not everybody was jumping up and down Just the usual vocal minority who want the guvmint to do somethink and ring talkback radio or write letters to newspapers.

I don't pretend to have an answer but I very much doubt if catching random sharks is it. The great white that might be responsible for the next attack might not have left South Australia yet.
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:53

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:53
Don't blame the government, blame the people, the governments only do what they are pressured to do. Successive governments would probably do the same if the previous ones weren't ousted because of it.

Perhaps, by law, all surf boards should have " Fish Food This Side" emblazoned on the upper surface. Possibly just as effective in reducing attacks.
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Follow Up By: get outmore - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:57

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 19:57
Bazooka did you not read my post unless youd been hiding under a rock you would have known it was no knee jerk reaction as he had been resisting calls for shark culls for years

as for the vocal minority wanting to the "guvmint to do somethink and ring talkback radio or write letters to newspapers."

is this the same vocal minority who now is "ringing talkback radio or write letters to newspapers"

like I said he was damned if he did and damned if he didnt

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:15

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:15
I read it Get Outmore, just don't accept it as a valid reason or summary of the situation (seems a recurring theme there eh). The only poll conducted still shows a large majority of people opposed to culling. It's probably coincidental but the research seems to suggest they're correct:
"Hawaii shark control programs of the 1960s and 1970s, for example, were not demonstrably effective. These programs were expensive, culled 4,668 sharks and yet failed to produce measurable decreases in shark bite incidents.

The challenges of reducing shark bites at specific locations were clearly illustrated by the events at Barbers Point on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The 1967-69 shark control program removed 33 tiger sharks at that one location alone, yet soon after the program finished a shark bite occurred at Barbers Point."

The "shark hysteria" (as tiny as it actually is) and the debate regarding culling of sharks has been going on for years. If Barnett's intent on saving lives he might do better closing beaches or banning rock fishing - WA beach drowning rose from 6 to 14 last year, well beyond the shark fatality numbers.
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Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 20:12

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 20:12

What's the difference between culling goats and camels or sharks and crocs?
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:05

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:05
Let me think for a minute! Ahh, that's right, goats & camels are feral!
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:17

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:17
So are a lot of greenies?
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Follow Up By: Axle - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:32

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:32
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Follow Up By: Skulldug - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:41

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:41
Hairy from NT,

You should go swimming more often.
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Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:42

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:42
but shaker..... they have citizenship
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:53

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:53
I did go swimming on the weekend?........I also caught 3 sharks?
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Reply By: Honky - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:22

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 21:22
Haven't seen any outcry for the Croc in NT yet.

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Follow Up By: K&FT - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 17:56

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 17:56
have a look on FB and read some of the comments if you are looking for some entertainment.

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Reply By: Member - Michael J (SA) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 22:08

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 22:08
I do not often need to reply to these threads, however it does pose a heap of questions..
If I choose to go swimming in an area frequented by crocs, or any other type of predatory mammal, why should I complain if I get eaten?? They survive by eating all types of food.
Having lived and worked in areas such as this I am able to understand both sides of the equation.
To be fair, if you wish to swim in areas that mean you could be eaten by a croc, or play in an area that could cause you so, but do not complain if it does not conform to your expectations.

I do have much empathy for the family involved in this episode, take care and be strong for your family.

As for the WA solution....what a load of sad people.

-and have no concept of the question/problem

Michael B Johnson

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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 22:20

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 22:20
No? enlighted me.....
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Reply By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 22:24

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 22:24
Unfortunately there are a couple of problems with perception.

And that is what both these issues are about.

Firstly what is more imporatnt, humans or animals?.....serioulsy think about this.

We have a very strong lobby telling us that "sharks are endangered".....unfortunately this is a half some parts of the world sharks are indeed beeing hammered into extinction.....this is not true anywhere in Australian waters.

So why is killing a few sharks such a problem.

Now to the crocodiles......they to have been protected in this country for decades, in may areas that are reaching proportions dangerous to human habitation.

So, they are not endangered, in fact in may areas plentifull.

So why is killing a few crocodiles such a problem.

As for the native V Introduced, thing......the issues are very different.

There are ferral animals that are a serious environmental problem......for example I believe all introduced cats should be exterminated, because of the damage they do to our native wild life....the vast majority of people who keep cats seem completely incapable and unwilling to properly contain them ....why should they be any different to the cane toad just because they are soft and furry.

See what I mean about perception.

Cammels I understand have very little environmental impact, goats on the other hand are a different thing.

Now with both the sharks and the Crocodiles we are not talking about systematic extermination, we are talking about controlling the numbers in some areas close to habitation.

Unfortunaly we have a lot of people who have no stomach for killing anything...well that brings up a whole other debate.

There are a hell of a lot of vegetarians who make that choice because they cant bare stuff being killed.

Well they need to get it thru their thick skull that moden vegitarianism is highly dependent on intensive agricultire and that is responsible for the death of thousands of native animals world wide every year.

Modern vegetarianisn is mot certainly not environmentally friendly.
Even the vegatrian individual produces far more greenhose gasses than a similar meat eating eat meat and save the planet.

As you see it is all about perception.

The reality is we have some very high risk situations than can be managed by killing a few dangerous animals that are close to human habitation.

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Follow Up By: lizard - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 22:32

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 22:32
Well said bantam ....
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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 22:39

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 22:39
"Cammels I understand have very little environmental impact" (sic)

You might want to go and visit the desert areas on your next holiday, as the damage is blatantly obvious there Bantam.


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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 22:43

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 22:43
Well put Bantam.....except the camel bit.
Like Alan said, they do their fair share of damage.

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Follow Up By: Mudripper - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 22:45

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 22:45
Thank you, Bantam. At last there is somebody who makes a sensible contribution to this thread.

In my mind, certain sharks and crocs serve no practical purpose - they're just killing machines. I agree with you - total extermination in this case is not necessary, but control of the population is. Otherwise, they will simply breed out of proportion because they are on top of the food chain. They have no natural predators.

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Follow Up By: lizard - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:05

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:05
Equinox posted You might want to go and visit the desert areas on your next holiday, as the damage is blatantly obvious there Bantam.

I have heard this before about the Environmental damage camels do , to be honest I haven't seen it .... a few hundred hectares of desert eaten out etc compared to millions of hectares of untouched desert doesn't seem much to me - when compared to what feral pigs or sheep or horses can do ..., I may be missing something here , can someone let me know .....
We are talking desert here , not pastoral leases .
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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:18

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:18
Hi Lizard,

Agreed, most of the desert is not in pastoral leases and people do not generally make money from it running cattle etc.
However the desert areas are very important ecosystems none the less. We are not only talking about a few hundred hectares being eating out either, I would imagine you have massively underestimated this figure.

The damage also occurs at the waterholes, where thirsty camels either completely deplete waterholes at the detriment of native wildlife, or completely destroy waterholes so they can never recover.

As I said to Bantam, I think you should open your eyes a bit wider.


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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:19

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:19
top post bantam, I dont always agree with your writings but youve pretty well nailed it.
The sharks are not endangered.
Mosquitos are native and cause a lot of problems as well as bush flies etc and we happily spray them enmass-if we skip the "threatened specie" crap why are they less entitled to live?
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:20

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:20
have a look at this link.......might be worth a readLINK
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:21

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:21
Perhaps if we farmed and managed the camels instead of cattle or sheep in some of these marginal areas, the land would be in better condition.

I am sure there would be a as big a market for the camel meat in the mid east as there is for a fine and healthy camels as breding and racing stock.

Say even better farming kangaroos.....they have great meat, low in fat and high in omega 3......and I can asure you very tasty......oh but they are cute and natives.

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Follow Up By: lizard - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:27

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:27
Equinox posted
As I said to Bantam, I think you should open your eyes a bit wider.

Thanks for your advice , I will do .... I like to learn every day , don't you ?
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:34

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:34
Nothing like letting anecdote get in the way of facts eh Bantam? Your comment regarding shark numbers and endangerment in Australia is simply factually wrong. A number of "Australian" shark species are critically endangered, endangered or at risk.

As for the comment regarding humans V animals - it's simplistic. If you expect to reduce all risk to life then you'd need to start with the biggest problems and work your way down. As we know the risk of shark attack and death is tiny compared to numerous other human activities. For example Australians are 86 times more likely to drown than die from a shark attack.

There's an inherent risk in almost every undertaking and the question is not an us V them one at all, it's a risk management, cost/benefit and philosophical argument when you indiscrimintely kill other species. In an unfolding life and death situation noone would favour an animal over a human (okay with a very few exceptions) but culling is an entirely different kettle of fish.

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Follow Up By: equinox - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:34

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:34
I certainly do Lizard, it never ends!!!

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Follow Up By: lizard - Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:46

Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014 at 23:46
Back on thread , a person ( nameless here) said to me that the sharks are following the live sheep export ships from Fremantle northwards , even though the ships are not supposed to throw carcases overboard - but they supposedly hoses the dung overboard (an attractant?) , is this true , can anyone advise .
For the record - sharks , crocodiles don't affect me , I don't swim in oceans or rivers - and I have agood look in a swimming pool before I jump in (after advice from caravan park owner in Litchfield)
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Follow Up By: lizard - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 00:30

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 00:30
Back off thread a bit , have just viewed some video from websites of posters on this thread , those that are against camels for their enviro damage - and what do I see - 4X4 vehicles driving across natural scrub - crushing unseen reptiles - causing erosion - I am aghast at what I see - so after this red is finished off to bed
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Follow Up By: Kanga1 - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 08:41

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 08:41
Approx 10 years ago I remember reading an environmental study regarding Camels and the findings were astonishing. The bottom line was, that the Camel has a dramatic affect on native animal populations, to the point of being responsible for more localized extinctions of native animals in arid Australia than all other feral animals put together! This was attributed to direct competition for food, habitat destruction to a lesser extent but mainly fouling water points to the extent that the water is left completely unusable by the native creatures living within its proximity, the Camels can then move great distances to another water point that the native creatures are unable to, to their detriment. Gave me a whole new view of the ships of the desert. Cheers, Kanga
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 08:59

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 08:59
Surely it can't be news to you Lizard that "MAN" (and I put the vast majority of us in that bag including myself and yourself) is by far the greatest plunderer, destroyer and threat to the environment that ever existed. Many are well aware of this and try to keep their footprints to a minimum, others try to compensate by fighting for those species which can't speak for themselves or which are under undue pressure from our actions and inactions. While many of us enjoy the trappings of exploitation of the environment and other species that shouldn't and won't preclude us from speaking out when we think the balance is out of kilter or decisions from rule makers are bad. The fact that we have people on here talking about "threatened species crap" and animals serving "no practical purpose" (presumably based on his extensive scientific studies) shows just what many species on this planet are up against.
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 09:24

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 09:24
What Australian sharks are" critically endangered" where does info like this come from and how do they come to these statements.
It might be true but from what I hear from professional fishermen, divers and personal experience, there are more sharks and crocs around than I have ever seen in my life time and those I speak to?

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 09:40

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 09:40
Seriously hairy? Yoiu have access to the greatest array of information (and misinformation) ever available and you want me to do your searching? Okay here's just one of many ;
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 09:49

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 09:49
Sorry hit the wrong button.

Okay here's just one of many:;
Gotta love the anecdotal "evidence" though. See it regularly on this website. Saw my first giant caterpillar recently. Expecting an invasion of white-stemmed gum moths soon as a result. If you don't mind I'll continue to rely on more accurate, verifiable and credible information. Seems to work 99.9 times out of a hundred.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 12:23

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 12:23
Reminds me of the term "ignorance is bliss"...anyway ...

....List of (some of the ) threatened sharks (world wide) just to show that a "shark" isn't a "shark" there are many different types and not all are "more common than ever".

List_of_threatened sharks

This list doesn't include the critically endangered Australian (east coast) grey nurse...see bazzoka's link above of Aussie specific stuff.

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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 20:01

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 20:01
The question of the accuracy, honesty and political correctness of marine science is a very interesting is the idea of being endangered.

lets start with whale sharks and basking sharks.....we are not talking about killing those, and in fact they are probably safest anywhere in the world when they are in Australian waters.

Some of those sharks listed as being under threat are simply so uncommon that you would have a hard time finding one to kill.
Not because they have all been killed but because they are just uncommon or rare.
There are a couple of those sharks that are fairly new to science, one in particular there have been less than 20 specimins ever captured all released unharmed.

The rare sharks are simply clasified as endangered, as a matter of course...they are rare therefore they must be endangered.

AND we are not talking about killing / kulling any of those rare or "endangered" sharks.

Besides NONE of the rare sharks to my knoweledge present a significant risk to man.

Oh an in that wiki list, one of the sharks lited as "critically endangered", they don't even claim to know how the population is trending.

In Australian waters sharks do very well thankyou very much.

There is a very good case for managing certain shark species in certain locations.

For example most of our canal estates are lousy with river whalers / bull sharks....certainly not endangered and possibly the shark that is the greatest threat to man.

There are plenty of places in Australia that you will have a hard time landing a fish without "the men in grey suits" putting a tax on it.

Interesting that you say that sharks aint sharks...I totally agree.

Why then is there a blanket bag and catch limit for all spiecies of shark and ray except protected spicies, in QLD.

Surely we do not need to protect the river whaler with a rediculoulsy low bag limit and a rediculoulsy los maximum catch size.

But there is the "idea" being pushed that "sharks" in general are endangered...sory it simply aint true.

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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 20:44

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 20:44
..The point of bazzoka's and my post was to illustrate the fact that there are some Aussie sharks that are" critically endangered" (someone asked).

There was no "idea" being pushed that "sharks" in general are "endangered". The "push" in some posts above is that sharks in general are common e.g "there are more sharks ...around than I have ever seen in my life time" Fine ..but some species are less common than they used to be. i.e. sharks aint sharks..Get it? Some are indeed threatened (critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable).

No doubt there are many very common species - no surprise they have the same bag limit - because there is no problem. Its not that complicated to work out.

The classification of species into the various threatened categories is a management tool and often a precautionary approach must be adopted due to lack of knowledge. If you adopt the opposite philosophy you will ultimately stuff up..its called the rule of pedantics :)

Why some species are more common than others varies. Some are as you suggest, less common naturally....but that doesn't mean they don't need to be specially protected/managed so as not to become extinct.

Nothing wrong with culling animals if there is a legitimate reason (with a likely positive outcome), its done in a humane fashion and doesn't result in the species extinction.


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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 21:30

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 21:30
Your explanation of why sharks are classified as endangered is a bad case of trying to cover your tracks Bantam. If you read some of the literature you'll soon see just how foolish it is in many cases.

I'm not sure where you get this idea that there is clamour about sharks in general being endangered. There are genuine concerns by some marine ecologists and these appear to be based on the alarming (to them) global take. We know that sharks are hunted indiscriminately for their fins and that many tens of millions are taken each year. Only a supreme optimist would suggest that such figures won't have an impact on marine ecology. Some studies have shown take rates are higher than rebound rates, which may or may not lead to unsustainability. Only further studies will tell us either way - guessing, gut feelings and anecdotes aren't reasonable alternatives to scientific study imo.

I don't disagree with your conclusion that sharks need management in certain areas, or indeed some of your other very broad observations/generalisations. The objection that I and many others have is that Barnett's decision is not based on science, and it sends completely the wrong message in regard to environmental and species mnagement. "If it gets in the way (even rarely) let's cull it" is something from the dark ages, not rational thinking.
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 22:38

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 22:38
Well there you go........straight from the mouth of Wikipedia. Bwahahahahaha

As from the other source of valuable knowledge..............I really doubt they are likely to hook a spear tooth shark or Grey Nurse in WA? Do you?
What about a NORTHERN river shark in the South of WA?
Well that's your Critically endangered species and endangered species..............
So you might catch a Vulnerable species......true.
But they are not drum lining the entire coast of Australia (where your info is taken) just a little bit in the south of WA because there has been (don't quote me ) I think 7 attacks in 3 years compared to 20, in the last 100. A rather large increase don't you think?

Just for the record......I do a lot of fishing and accidentally catch a few sharks. They have all been released because I don't eat them and they are no threat to me.
But....I value human life over that of an animal so believe if a cull will save human life its worth it.
I also think if getting rid of a few animals for the sake of tourism and peoples way of life, well maybe that's not such a bad idea either.

A shark cull will not affect me in the slightest and therefore really don't support it but as long as people go off half cocked sprouting insults at others (calling them ignorant and assuming their stupidity)who question their opinions there will be no viable reason to stop it!
Well done......

Ps out of all the people against it..........who eats fish? LOL
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 23:18

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 23:18
You asked "What Australian sharks are" critically endangered" where does info like this come from and how do they come to these statements."

The sources in Wikipedia are referenced, plus the Australia species are listed on the DoE website anyway (facts). Better than secondhand info on the abundance of "sharks" from unknown fishermen. Bwahahahahaha

Just pointing out that there are threatened species out there. No one said anything about the likelihood of catching them...or that they don't like eating fish. + never said current "cull" in WA wasn't warranted...i.e. my opinion want being questioned.

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 11:19

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 11:19
Seeing as you've brought it up Hairy.... ignorance and sprouting opinion without a grasp of the basics is what insults me, especially when there is a huge range of credible information available to anyone who actually wants to know some facts, and not just on this topic. We've seen a few small samples on this thread unfortunately. Blanket statements such as 'sharks aren't endangered in this country's waters' is a pretty fair example, and one which needed to be stopped in it's tracks.

As for Wikipedia. There are plenty of websites with detailed factual data about all manner of issues, including scientific and environmental. Sometimes these are referenced in Wikipedia as Greg said. Shrugging them off with a teenage internet guffaw does your argument no favours. As I suggested, you ought to avail yourself of the other resources instead of asking others to do your work for you. I think "a shark cull will not affect me in the slightest" pretty much sums it up for me.

I've already pointed out the hypocrisy; the lack of science involved; the tiny probability of death or injury compared to many other human activities; the fact that most of those at serious risk generally don't support arbitrary shark culls, nor do the families of those taken if news reports are an accurate reflection (they may not be), and nor does the general public if polls are to be believed (again, debatable). I've also referred to the fact there are other issues beyond a simple us or them mentality. You might like to contemplate the figures regarding the estimated number of human entrances into marine environments (swimming, surfing, fishing, etc) V the number of shark attacks and contemplate some probabilities. I'll leave you to look up the numbers - shouldn't be hard to find because they've been bandied about the web in recent times due to the controversy surrounding Barnett's decision. It's a complex issue as Bantam alluded to quite well. Many things in life are when you actually delve a bit deeper, even if for some there's no transition from white to black.
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 19:54

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 19:54
Yep......and you keep believing all that?
Its your opinion and your entitled to it.....but I have better things to do with my life .........I'm going fishing.... Seeya
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 21:02

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 21:02
Enjoy your fishing Hairy, but watch out for sharks. Apparently there's a 0.0000000000001% chance of one ending your days.
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 23:23

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 23:23
One needs to be very carefull using the word "fact" in the same sentence as " environmental science".

Especially the word "Fact" in the areas of fisheries managment.

While there is some very good work done on fisheries managment in this country, there have been some apauling abuses of statistics and the use of pseudo science to justify a number of questionable fisheries polocies.

I have stood in meetings with a "fisheries scientist" trying to justify certain polocies bassed on surveys with very small sample rates, skewed data and laughable modeling.

Then you can look at the pseudo science used to justify total lock out marine parks and green zones.

Let me tell you you will get nowhere in most of this fieled of science if you do not tow the line on opinion.

The lecturers will not get a job, the students will not get a pass mark, the graduates will not get employment in the government departments and the circle continues.

AND the green wash continues...while proper environmental management is howeled down in favour of an over pesimistic outlook and a lock out attitude.

FollowupID: 807379

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 23:32

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 23:32
As for this claimed incredibly low chance of beeing killed by a shark.

Yep it is indeed far more likley that more people will be killed by refrigerators than sharks......but we don't have sharks in every damn kitchen in the country.

The statistical liklyhood of being killed by a shark increases dramaticaly depending on where you are and what you do.

If you don't go in the water you have a very poor chance of being killed by a shark.

I know a few bookies, and I don't think you would get very good odds of swimming from one side of a lot of rivers in the north and getting to the other side without being taken by either a shark or a crock.

The odds would get even worse in the morning or the evening...slightly better chances at mid day and if you don't splash arround.

Those who push their luck have found out to their distinct disadvantage.

FollowupID: 807381

Follow Up By: Bazooka - Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 11:01

Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 11:01
I see Hairy likes it Bantam but you'll have to excuse me if I take your criticisms of marine science and scientists with nothing more than a grain of salt. That's probably more than they actually deserve as your previous posts have shown. Opinion interspersed with completely inaccurate fact and illogical conclusions just don't do it for me. I find generally speaking that people with such warped views invariably have no qualifications and little more than anecdotal knowledge, yet still want to offer their "learned opinions" - opinions which are to them more valuable than experts in the field. In the old days we would have just called it bulldust, young Aussies these days simply say "pfffft!".

As soon as I hear lines about "greenwashes" and scientists needing to invent data and push agendas to protect their jobs I know what I'm dealing with. Yes these things occasionally occur in societies (dishonesty occurs in every walk of life at every level, even on websites lol) but they are soon sorted out within the scientific community or the court of public opinion (as uninformed as that may be at times). You on the other hand obviously don't like facts and data getting in the way of your biases - particularly where the environment is concerned apparently - so I'll simply put it this way. If lecturers weren't teaching and science students weren't learning valid and ethical techniques for gathering, synthesising information and forming rational and logical conclusions then society would be far worse off, and the environment would be nothing more than a plaything to be exploited at man's behest. Science may never be perfectly impartial but universities at least teach students the appropriate techniques and drum into them the critical nature of ethics in the treatment of data and conclusions. What happens after that is determined by many different influences, and the scientific community and general public are quick to hone in on pseudo-science and invalid interpretations and conclusions.

An interesting idea was put to me only yesterday that most fishermen and women actually support marine parks - it's only a few noisy activists with vested interests and a handful of cranky locals who have been locked out of some areas who object to them - because they've already seen improvements in marine life in adjacent areas. It must be true because I heard it in conversation and now I've repeated it on a website.

As for your rebuttal of the shark attack stats, you're barking up the wrong tree and got it wrong yet again. The % I put up in what I thought was my parting shot to Hairy was just a tongue-in-cheek ambit number designed to show the ridiculous nature of the cull response. But the actual estimates (can't find where I saw them at this stage, I'll leave you to look them up) refer not to people who don't go into water as you suggest. That error is either a fundamental failure to understand statistics or a conscious effort to shore up your argument. Either way it doesn't cut the mustard. The actual numbers were based on conservative estimates for the number of human entrances into the domains of sharks - or to put it another way, possible "interactions" with them - versus the number of attacks and fatalities. Irrepective of the actual numbers involved the likelihood is ridiculously small.

You might prefer to deal in anecdotes I prefer knowledge. As history shows, scientists mat be get it precisely right on every occasion (unlike you apparently) but societies who embrace science and use it properly are far better off than those who don't.
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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 11:06

Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 11:06
Apologies. The last par should read:

You might prefer to deal in anecdotes, I prefer knowledge. As history shows, scientists MAY NOT get it precisely right on every occasion (unlike you apparently) but societies who embrace science and use it properly are far better off than those who don't.
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 16:41

Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 16:41
Let me assure you that the majority of fishermen amateur AND professional DO NOT support marine parks, particularly in the way they have been implimented.

I've been in the government run CONsultation meetings, seen the angry faces and the loud voices.

I have in the past been heavily involved in local fishing polotics.

The government paryicularly the green aligned, preference swapping, favour owing, labour governments have made damn sure that the grass roots fishermen are not heard.

I have been involved in fatually disputing certain data put forward by QLD fisheries under the labour government.
Believe me it was not hard.

The truth of the matter was the greens price for swapping preferences was a marine park plan with certain persentages ...that is exactly what they got

One of the labour back room grey men told one of my associates to his face. I could name names but I will not. That they formulated the polocy then looked for the science to support it.

For months the QLD labour government flatly rerfused to publish the science it used to justify the Moretin Bay marine park plan.
When they finally released the pile of paperwork they called was plain and obvious what had happended.

When the environment minister, tells you black and blue to your face that the marine park boundry signs are there.....and you know damn well they are not because you have been there looking for them.

If they can not get such a simple fact right, you can not believe a word they say.

The problem is there IS no single fishing lobby group with a universal membersip and funding to look after the fishermans point of view.

on the other had we have large american Environmental lobby groups funding green groups in australia and spending millions( yess millions) in advertsing to push their marine park agenda.

Remember the "Barry Rass" adds, paid for by americans, and aired nationally in prime time.

Don't forget that quite a lot of what passes for research is done by green groups and funded by green lobby funds.

There is almost NO independent fisheries research.

In the past fisheries in QLD was managed by the harbours and marine and later the DPT of primary like many things it is partly managed by the EPA...and that is a green aligned department...where the best answer is NO and the primary managment tool is the lock out.

Believe me if you start looking it is as uggly as it sounds.

AND good management takes a second place to political desire

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 12:40

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 12:40
See that's the problem, I have no reason to "believe you" Bantam. Your posts are not only riddled with "inaccuracies" they come from an obvious position. All marine research is apparently tainted. Only you and a few others know what's really going on. The Grey Nurse isn't endangered, it's just naturally rare - either that or the researchers are pushing a barrel (unlike you of course) or are simply incompetent and untrustworthy. No doubt in your view marine research is a furphy - yet another reason to take your final comment about "good management" with a grain of salt.

There's plenty of evidence of the effectiveness of marine parks (*for example) but as we've seen with the MDB some people can't accept change for the greater good/future generations because it affects their way of life, often but not always in a minor way. The environment and the species which inhabit it have no say, they simply react to the abuse and neglect over time, and you don't have to be Einstein to know where that leads us. Investing for the future often comes at a cost to the present, and it takes no smarts to figure out that most of us are wired to think in terms of ourselves and our generation alone. Hairy's statement that it 'doesn't affect me' is a fair summary of the prevailing attitudes, until the sh!t hits the fan of course.

We can point the finger at politicians who paid scant regard to the environment and the future (successive state governments in the case of the MDB) but we are also responsible - for our self-centredness in some cases, and for not voicing our opinions strongly enough and objecting to the short term thinking brought about by small but influential lobby groups.

We can also claim "greenwashing" whenever opinions and information we don't like are aired. After all, intelligent disinterested people can draw logical conclusions from a range of feedback systems operating in marine (and other) environments, but as we know it takes millions of $$$ and decades of research to confirm their educated suspicions. Meantime opponents can and do claim "where's the science?", "where's the data?" and "the data is tainted because it was funded by environmental groups", even as stocks of more abundant fish are diminishing.

As far as research funding is concerned it's hardly surprising that governments (primarily) and environmental groups will invariably end up having to provide the resources because as we know industry will only ever react when their bottom lines are affected - the fish catches are reducing, the water supplies are drying up, the salt is taking over pastures..... We all know the processes involved and we've seen the results - and leaving the fox in charge of the henhouse is (well shoud be) no longer acceptable practice. In recent decades even commercial fishermen have come to understand the relationship between environmental management and protection and their own long-term economic futures. I and millions of other Australians take our hats off to politicians prepared to show leadership in cases such as these because we know and they realise that waiting for "independent" research is neither wise nor acceptable in an advanced society.

I have little doubt myself what future generations will say about shark culling in WA and marine parks in general, just as I have no doubt about what the environment would say if given a voice. It's response across the globe to overfishing, monoculture and abuse has been obvious.

Science tries to collate and understand the data to learn for current and future generations. The job is complex enough without having to battle the anecdotes, misinformation and lies peddled by particular interest groups.
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 16:00

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 16:00
Give it a rest Bazooka..... neither is what you say fact just because YOU say so.

And if you are going to quote me at least leave it in context.....
I said "A shark cull will not affect me in the slightest and therefore really don't support it "!!!!!!! In other words, I have no personal interest in it, only an opinion..........I'm open to suggestions.......are prepared to change opinions if there were facts to say something one way or another.

When this debate started there were arguments thrown around like.....

they are endangered......this was shown to be an invalid argument because the endangered species aren't in this area.

The by catch.......extremely unlikely and a lot safer than netting like they do over the east.

There has been comparisons made to removing ALL the wolves from a National Park in USA......completely irrelevant.

wiping out the entire shark population....bloody hell! They are trying to eradicate a selected type and size of shark from a selected populated, tiny area on a massive coast line not wiping out the entire shark population or a netting program which everyone seems to accept.

The Greens Minister saying the general population is against it........that's purely a personal opinion....the circles of people I mix with really aren't too concerned about it, so does that make it a fact...NO. Its an opinion!

Comparing people crossing the road to people getting attacked by sharks.....what a many millions are crossing the road compared to swimming at these beaches that are being drum lined???? And yes the gov is working to reduces road accidents.

I reckon everyone needs to get back to reality and stop being so bloody pedantic.....The Government has started fishing to try and protect a few human lives who use this area....possibly for tourism and even there own agenda.......they're not trying to wipe out Australia's sharks ......3 breeds over a certain size in a selected area....that's all!!

Taking things out of context, throwing insults, misleading info and quoting pages and pages of someone else's opinions really doesn't do a lot for the argument for or against.

In my opinion reducing the numbers in an area could only reduce the risk of attack and that all they are doing.

Unless someone can tell me what ecological disaster is going to be caused be removing a few Tiger, Great White, or bull sharks over three metres from a few local beaches in Perth, I cant see what all the drama is about.
FollowupID: 807583

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 18:01

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 18:01
Bazooka mate you have swallowed the over simplistic, popular science green line that has been shoved down the publics throat for the last 20 years......"save the plannet"....Oh give us a break.

In QLD like most other states we have come of 20 something years of a green aligned, green beholden labour governement that has hammered common sence, the complete story and scientific fact into the ground. Supported for much of that time by a green aligned, green beholden federal government.

Like always, the green support that kept these governments in power was conditional on some very specific demands.

During this time groups like the ameriacan PEW enviromnemtal trust have been pouring money ( and lots of it) into pushing its one eyed marine parks agenda.....serilulsy they want 30% of australian coastal waters as marine park...and the whole coral sea.
They have been lobbying sucessive governments insessently on the matter.
They have also been funding all sorts of other groups with "education programes" and "research grants".

To such an extent that they American extreem greens have become the predominat voice on the marine parks matter.

The PEW environmental trust has a very long reach and very deep pockets.....Their influence makes the american/CIA political manipulation ( all the way with LBJ and the Whitlam thing) of Australian polotics in the 70's look tame

Marine reserach in this country is almost exclusivly funded by the government and the greens.....because there IS no big business in fishing in this is a grass roots run and operated business where the BIG players would be about the size of a family owning a string of service stations, supermarkets or a large faimily farming enterprise.

They don't have the money to throw at research.

As far as decreasing catch rates......ah well, another half truth.
There are plenty of places in the world where the fishery has been hammered to near desert.
That is not Australia.

The main reasion for reduced cath rates in australia is reduction of effort.
Millions have been spent buying back commercial fishing licences, because those who owned them have nowhere to fish because of the marine parks and green zones.

Australia has had a 100 pluss year history of regulated commercial fishing and in general at a sustainable level.

NOW because of the persecution of the australian commercial fisherman, we are now a net importer of fish products...the majority of those fish products comming from unsustainable and or contaminated fisheries.
Why should we be buying catfish and prawns from Vietnam, or orange roughy from south africa.
OH orange roughy that may well have been caught right on our large southafrican trawlers.

Realy the whole merine science thing as presented to the public for at least the last 10 years has had a very one sided outlook

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 14:35

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 14:35
A reduction of effort is the main reason for low catch rates? Persecution of commercial fishermen? Roflmao, I'd thought I'd heard it all but you've outdone yourself Bantam. Beats your brilliant conclusions that sharks aren't endangered they're naturally rare and your implied claim of better knowledge of marine species and environments than experts including Commonwealth agencies such as DAFF, AFMA, ABARE, CSIRO etc. You must think I came down in the last shower.

Commercial fisherman in various parts of Australia have agreed to catch reductions and licence buyouts for a number of reasons, the main one being economics concerning stock availability - due to reducing catch rates. In short, sustainability has become an issue which state and federal governments of all persuasion believe requires serious action. There are differences at the margins but overall both Liberal and Labor governments have thankfully adopted similar strategies - based on science, data and sustainable management. It was the Howard government which directed DAFF to develop a world's best practice harvest strategy policy for fishery management "to ensure that key commercial fish species are managed for long–term biological sustainability and economic profitabilityand to provide the fishing industry with a more certain operating environment." The 2005 ministerial direction also included a requirement that AFMA "take immediate action in all Commonwealth fisheries to cease overfishing and recover overfished stocks to levels that will ensure long term sustainability and productivity and avoid further species from becoming overfished in the short and long term." A recent review of the policy has been produced. you can read it here if you're interested:

Anyone who has lived in this country for more than 10 minutes can tell you that conservative governments in particular are equivocal in their long-term views of environmental issues, particularly where commercial interests are involved, so that might tell you just what they think of your ideas. Then again they generally do try to deal with facts rather than anecdote and opinion. Here's just one of many similar statements from Australian fishery authorities. As my late father would say, "read it and weep":

"Australia has experienced declines in some commercial fisheries, particularly southern bluefin tuna, southern sharks and gemfish. There are also now serious concerns that the high catches of the long-lived, deep-sea orange roughy cannot be sustained.

Of the 100 fisheries described in 'Australian fisheries resources', nine are considered to be overfished, 23 are fully or heavily fished, nine are underfished, and 59 are of unknown status.

Reasons for declines in some fisheries include overfishing, use of non-selective fishing gear, loss of habitat, pollution and Australia's marine jurisdictional complexity which hinders management of a fish stock or population. While it is considered that many of Australia's fisheries have not been managed in a conservative manner in the past, fisheries managers are now focusing more on fisheries ecosystem management. "

Here's another:

"In the 1980s and 1990s fisheries in most developed countries were suffering from extensive overfishing and poor management systems. In Australia, fisheries for southern bluefin tuna and orange roughy collapsed. Political pressure from fishing companies led to maintenance of catches far above the scientific advice.

In the mid-1990s, a shift began. Political influence on fisheries decisions was diminished and policies were supported by good science. This transformation has been most thorough in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland and Norway, all places where overfishing has been largely eliminated. In Australia, assessed fish stocks are rebuilding and our evidence based fishery management framework is internationally recognised."

Your hysteria regarding sanctuary zones in marine parks is also a complete furphy. Even disregarding the obvious need for protected breeding grounds the areas of exclusion are very small, both inshore and offshore.

As with any major policy and industry, marine environment management and fishing needs consultation, regular reviews and adjustment. They aren't perfect and are obviously not to your liking but anyone who wants to sort fact from nonsense should go here and see precisely how marine parks work, and what exclusions apply to where. They might be surprised at just how few restrictions there actually are.

I could go on but banging my head on a brick wall really doesn't appeal.
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 18:22

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 18:22
I watched as 500,000 lb of Banana prawns were thrown overboard by the mother ships in the Gulf, because they couldn't process them. I also saw what they did to Spanner crabs, as they chased them up the coast from NSW to Queensland.

They had to change the rules and limit the size of the trawlers (back to 85 feet) in the gulf and then start buying back licences.

Rip, rip woodchip.
FollowupID: 807681

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 19:18

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 19:18
Bazooka continues to rant with a one eyed outlook.

I have stood in meetings where small scale commercial fishermen, are not complaining that they are not capable of catching enough.
In general the commercial fishers I have met have no problem meeting their catch quota...that is unless they have been locked out of their prime fishing grounds by the green zones, or their licenced area has become a restricted zone.

They complain that the government regulation is crippling them, they don't want to give up their licences that some have had in the family for generations.
They complain about the optuse and questionable "maths" use to calculate fish populations and catch share.

Much of the measurement of the "biomas" is from catch rate data, but does not adequately address how size & bag limits, quotas and economic viability effect the catch rate.

back in the bad old days when they took most of what ended up in the vacuum cleaner net that caght everything in it wake...catch data was probably a fair measure of what is there.

But when the various regulations and the economic viability of a particular spicies or a particular size of fish determines what the fisherman actually, brings home and registers as catch.
Catch rate data becomes almost useless.

During the recent QLD snapper scandal, we stood there as a "fisheries scientist" talked about all sorts of very questionable "maths" and computer models.....then admitted that there had been no attempt whatsoever to directly observe the fish populatrion.

No admission that the population may have moved to another location, no acknoledgment that the land was in drought and that the inshore grounds simple did not have sufficient nutrician.
No acknoledgement that fish learn, and become harder to catch and wise to methods and situations.
And certainly no acknoledgment that catch rate had reduced because effort had been reduced by regulation.

We where presented with total closures and redicuous conclusions bassed on the winges of a couple of dumb ass chater operators that kept on going to the same silted up reefs, week after week...and wondering why their customers where not catching.

Meanwhile those who knew what they where doing still caught as well as they ever did.

A couple of years later and after some rain, the big fish and the quantity have returned to the inshore grounds because there is something for them to eat.

On the matter of "bluefin tuna" and "orange roughy" in particular...a large part of the fishing pressure and the blame for the depleating stocks can be laid at the feet of the very large exploitative overseas operators like the japanese long liners and the south african roughy baggers.

Much of the recent fishereis data is little more than the worth of toilet paper.
the states produce reports because the federal legeslation requires it...mostly they have neither the will nor the resources to properly assess the fish stocsk and simply fill out a report going thru the motions and telling what those above want to hear.

Don't worry about how accurate the information just lodge a report any report that is believable.

As far as the federal required public CONsultation, this is usually the absolute minimum period and is more like a public relatuions exercise selling the polocy that is already decided than willing to accept any input from the public or the actual indusrty players.

NO doubt that there have been situations where over fishing has occured, but in general the australian fisherey has been pretty well manage over the last 100 years, and is in far better shape than most overseas countries.

while there may indeed be a few endangered shark spicies in australian waters, Sharks in general are not over exploited, endangered or in any way at risk.

In particular the spicies in question in the original post in the in places that they are proposed to be kulled.

AND above all the proposed kull...accounting for the places, the spicies and the size proposed to be kulled presents no risk whatsoever to the prosperity of those spicies or any other for that matter.

FollowupID: 807686

Follow Up By: Bazooka - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 21:03

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 21:03
Just so we understand your position Bantam can you clarify please.

Are you advocating a 'free market', carte blanche approach to fishing, with catches to be determined by commercial fishers? If so presumably all licences will be put up for grabs to the highest bidders so Australia's resources can find their true value. Giant trawlers should tell us quickly if fish stocks are sustainable or not. Should we penalise them for wastage in this fill your boots model or just shrug our shoulders? From whom should we seek recompense and who should we blame when such a system inevitably collapses?

If not are you suggesting that quotas and other restrictions such as exclusion zones should be relaxed or removed? If so by how much should quotas increase, and what would be the basis for such a relaxation given most marine science data is no better than dunny paper according to you. Should we just go by your gut feeling, should we consult a tarot card reader or just roll the dice to come up with a number?

If having faith in science and science-based decisions, taking a long term view, and demanding that our resources be managed for the benefit of both current and future generations and players in the industry is being being one-eyed then I'm guilty as charged. Give me that over anecdotes, self-regulation and self-interested pfaff every day of the week.
FollowupID: 807697

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 23:46

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 23:46
Oh yeh great so lets chuck the baby out with the bath water then.

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Tuesday, Feb 04, 2014 at 11:55

Tuesday, Feb 04, 2014 at 11:55
Seems you've painted yourself into a corner.
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Follow Up By: The Explorer - Tuesday, Feb 04, 2014 at 19:39

Tuesday, Feb 04, 2014 at 19:39
Floundering would be a more OT description (for about the last 4 or 5 posts) :)

I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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FollowupID: 807761

Reply By: Skulldug - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 18:09

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 18:09
Thanks to all for your thoughtful replies.

Well almost all.

AnswerID: 525331

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 21:55

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 21:55
As a West Aussie, I see the shark culling as action from the Government to attempt to improve the reputation of Perth as a holiday destination. Our tourism marketing is appalling, and its appeal to a cultural market is minimal, however WA does have superb natural attractions and Perth beaches are very important in the eyes of WA Tourism. It is my view that the State Government are concerned about the bad worldwide publicity of the numbers of fatal shark attacks and how this will impact on tourism here. I think this is action for actions sake. I also feel very strongly against the logic of the cull policy but I don't think the Government will budge based on local public opinion sadly. What surprises me most however is the mentality of killing animals in their natural habitat to reduce populations. I am appalled at the money that must be being spent on this issue in WA when so much more could be done by the Government to reduce road fatalities - including the increasing problem of managing cyclists. There will be hundreds killed on our roads before any more shark fatalities. Why do humans accept death by human error more readily than being eaten alive by an animal?
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AnswerID: 525348

Follow Up By: Skulldug - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 22:26

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 22:26
Well put Michelle,

The political dilemma is there and it can't be dismissed but culling sharks because they are predators makes as much sense as pouring a bucket of fresh water into the ocean because you think it is too salty.

I posted on this site because I thought it was relevant to the whole explore Australia theme. I'm not too fussed about WA tourism marketing but you are sooo right about our complacency in regard to the road toll.

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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 22:32

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 22:32
I think you are on the money here Michelle, tourism dollar is at stake and that is the driving force

I just read all of the posts in this thread, getting into the nitty gritty of endangered species or not and putting humans before animals etc but the truth is there are so few people killed by sharks they are hardly a threat and yet hundreds of people die every year from motor vehicles or from drowning or horse riding yet there is no discussion about banning those activities!

The whole situation is quite ridiculous really
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 22:42

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 22:42
Yeah......your probably right Michelle.

"Why do humans accept death by human error more readily than being eaten alive by an animal? "
Don't know......but probably the same reason some accept the death of an animal over a human?????? Strange mob hey? LOL
FollowupID: 807305

Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 22:53

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 22:53
Gday Alby,
Personally I don't think the argument of....................
"so few people killed by sharks yet hundreds of people die every year from motor vehicles " is really valid. Stats can bent to suit any situation and you really need to compare apples to apples.
eg are you adding up car accidents, pedestrian's, drink drivers etc and putting them all in the same bag?

And if the Gov spends billions each year on road safety because of the amount of deaths, is the amount (per capita) of money spent on the cull enough or should they charter a few more boats?

Don't want to open another can of worms........just a comment. LOL

And skulldug..........nice fishing!!!!

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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 23:17

Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014 at 23:17
Hairy I think you can single out any one of the activities I mentioned and they well and truly exceed the deaths by sharks.
No manipulation of the numbers needed
I think that sharks are viewed as fearsome creatures and that it would be a horrible way to die that motivates the views of many just like when most see a snake or a spider they are motivated to kill it
FollowupID: 807311

Follow Up By: Gnomey - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 10:26

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 10:26
Michelle asked:

"Why do humans accept death by human error more readily than being eaten alive by an animal? "

It's a question that goes to the heart of the matter IMHO. The answer is evolution. We are hard wired to fear predation - existential terror at the prospect of being eaten alive.

OTOH we tend to overestimate our ability to stay in control and avoid fatal errors. Some evolutionary aspects in that too as it would hard to stay sane without the illusion of control and certainty.

Existential terror trumps reason. Shark control measures give an illusion of control and thus safety.

Is this good for reputation management? Absolutely.

Living with things that can kill us, especially if they want to eat us occasionally is a serious problem. We can be reactionary bullies and kill 'em all - like what nearly happened to crocs. We can be victims and kill nothing, that is maybe until when one of OUR kids goes missing. No sensible solutions at either of these extremes. No easy answers in between them. Risk avoidance is a good idea but it won't eliminate the risk.

The life of anything is a life. Living means competing with other living things and that remains true regardless of our superior firepower or any silly talk about perfect harmony.

Me? I favour risk avoidance but there is a point at which my territorial claim will be asserted with lethal force if I judge that necessary.


FollowupID: 807329

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 12:32

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 12:32
That's just isn't it Gnomey! - we are human and imperfect and reactionary/self-protective by definition of our species. It's all just a bit of a worry when Governments get involved.

I am interested in what I read between the lines of The Explorer's reply for I think he is an Environmental Scientist, and he seems to think a cull is ok. I have no formal training or experience in such matters so I have an open mind but it just seems so dramatic and I think that's what bothers so many people now that this has become a mainstream debate.
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FollowupID: 807340

Follow Up By: Skulldug - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 13:54

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 13:54
As Rocco said early in the thread, great whites are migratory. Culling may work on local populations, but when they are near the coast of WA today and in Hawaii a few weeks later (or wherever) culling doesn't make sense. There will always be a new great white cruising past and in the mean time how much damage have we done to our coastal ecosystem?

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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 19:38

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 19:38
Skuldug one thing that astonishes me is the people seem to think fish ( and reptiles) are not smart and do not communicate.

My chooks go back to the same places, their favorate places to scratch and forage.
They have learned these places, they remember these places and they will keep going back there.

So ya recon a great white is dumber than a chook that has a brain the size of a pea.

A shark will know damn well where it is at a given time, while it may at times wander randomly, a large amount of the time it has somewhere it wants to be and has purpose in going there.

You can argue about great whites being lets forget that one.

A great white that has had a good time at Coteslow beach will be back.

Similarly, crocodiles even though their brain is little bigger than its largest tooth have a Highly developed ability to navigate.

They have been known to travel many miles up a waterway then walk quite some distance across land to reach another waterway.
They know what is there they know how to get there and they have been there before...AND they will keep comming back.

Now at our place there is a goana, that appears a couple of times a year...there are not that many goanas arrund our area......we hear about it because of the commotion among the birds.

It always comes from the same direction, seems to go to the same trees and goes off in the same direction...every time.

The kull bassed on location will be effective, because all animals are creatures of habit.

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Follow Up By: Skulldug - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 21:34

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 21:34

Surely you couldn't compare a few shark attacks (tragic) at WA beaches with feeding grounds? Big sharks would return to seal colonies where they would kill once every few days, not on a one off basis. They wouldn't return to a swimming beach because of a one-off kill.

In regards to your knowledge of chook feeding habits, I couldn't argue. Isn't a bantam a little chook?

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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Tuesday, Feb 04, 2014 at 00:21

Tuesday, Feb 04, 2014 at 00:21
Yet another over simplification.

Animals ( all aimals) go to places that they know....and they keep returning.

Sharks don't have to spend all their time eating or hunting.

If a shark has eaten well it may not have to eat for a while.

And they most certainly hunt and eat other things besides humans and seals.

All too many people look at the sea, and fail to understand that all sorts of stuff is down there....most of it a shark will eat...sharks can, do and will eat relatrivly small things if they can catch em easy enough.

It never occurs to most people that they are probably swimming with a whole range of sea creatures when they go to the beach.

It is very reasonable to compare the habits of birds and fish.

They are in fact very similar creatures.

Birds come and go, some are wary of humans others not, some live localised lives others travel, the whole range of bird behavious that we can see are reflected in fish under water.
AND I think it is reasonable to expect the same range of inteligence.

The difference is that unlike birds fish don't roost.....but they do have to have rest of sorts........a shark has to be somewhere, so when it wants to rest, from charging about in the open ocean, it may come and swim around some where quiet and calm.

To many sea creatures the beach may be just as attractive as it is to us and for similar reasons...just sort of upside down

What ever the reason, it is reasonable to expect a large shark to return to somewhere it knows...somewhere it has been before.

Hey it may even get another bite of one of those two leged things on those cruncy biscuits...we call em surfers..who knows what the sharks call em.

If it was some sort of human hooligan, or even some stray mongrel that is causing could give it a beating and tell it not to come back.
Spare me the political correctness, you get what I mean.

But good luck with dragging a 1+ tonne great white up by the tail, beating the stuffings out of it and telling it to piss off.

Kulling large sharks that frequent certain places is an entirely reasonable thing to do.

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Reply By: get outmore - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 10:45

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 10:45
Some people on here have highlighted other more likley means of death down the beach such as drowning.
True this is... its also beside the point.
As an example I went to America a few months ago
Most americans know more about Australia than you might think
Although they often dont know alot about WA , when I said thats where I was from thier first reaction was
"Oh yea thats where all the people have been getting killed by sharks yea?"
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Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 12:34

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 12:34
Yep and there you go, my point exactly. This is all about our global reputation as a tourist destination.
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Follow Up By: Skulldug - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 13:57

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 13:57

If its all about the politics, I hope the pressure from the voting public at home becomes greater than the tourist dollar.

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Follow Up By: Bazooka - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 15:20

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 15:20
As the saying goes, "One swallow does not a summer make". I'll be happy to be proved wrong but at this stage I think the tourism point is a red-herring at best and a total furphy at worst. Perhaps the WA govt has done some polling in regard to "Will shark attacks prevent you from visiting WA" but I doubt it. If they did I'd be more than surprised if it rated even moderately on the list of impediments to tourism. Has there been a downturn in visits by locals to Rottnest Island, was Mullaloo beach deserted before the catch and kill order? If such data existed I think they would have rolled it out long before now. The cost of travel and the availability of reasonably-priced accommodation was being touted as a major impediment not long ago, sharks didn't get a mention.

The cull order is pretty clearly primarliy about what a few people think MIGHT cause harm to the WA "brand" - despite the lack of evidence in support of that fear. I'd prefer if it was about reason and rationality.
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Reply By: disco driver - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 16:10

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 16:10
Anyone from Qld or NSW should not be jumping up and down too loudly about these happenings in WA.

Don't forget that your various Govt's have been doing the same thing or worse right on your doorsteps for something like 50 years. Haven't heard too much screaming about that.

Nets and long lines are much more indiscriminate. What with the by catch and anything else caught in nets, your govt's are doing much more damage than the few hooks along the WA coast.

Just making a point.

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Follow Up By: Slow one - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 16:33

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 16:33
Very, very true.
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 16:12

Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 16:12
There has been plenty said about shark netting let me tell you.

There are a variety of control methods that are used.

There are quite a few people who will tell you that netting is one of the least effective and most indiscriminate.

Erny Grant ( author of Grants Guide to Fishes), was a long time public servant in the area responsible for fisheries and for shark controll.

Ern probably knows more about fish and the fishery in QLD than anybody alive...and he is still alive.
Chances are if somebody read good information about a fish in QLD he wrote it, if there was a good picture of a fish found in QLD he or his wife took it, and the most likely caught it first.

Prior to the introduction of shark netting he had quite a bit to say to his superiours about the general inconcieved nature of shark netting.

His superiors rewarded him by putting him in charge of implimenting the programe....he has never hid his opposition to the programe.

Every year someone raises the issue of shark netting, usually after Seaworld and volunteers have to cut yet another whale out of the nets.

But from the government point of view, shark netting is a poisoned challace in QLD now.

If they continue anybody with an understanding of the issue rightly critisises the governmet and the programe.

If they speak of ceasing shark netting the toursit lobby and the general public raise a huge outcry. Because there is such an illusion of protection surrounding shark netting.

We also have drum lines in QLD .

The actual idea for the need of shark controll is a completely seperate issue to Shark netting.

Shark control is a necessary AND there are a number of choices.

Shark netting is unnecessary, ineffective, indiscriminate and more about perception than actual results.

OH and in QLD we don't have a problem with very large sharks and in particular great whites.

It is known that the southern ocean is a prime habitat of the Great White.

In QLD we have very few if any beaches that could be considered true open ocean beaches.
The parts of SA and WA it is my understanding that there are a lot of beaches that have fairly direct and unhindered access to deep water and the open ocean.

The great white is a primarly an open ocean creature.
So very large sharks can very easily come direct into swimming beaches.
If you thiink that a great white cares if that beach contains seals, penguins or humans...I believe you are seriuosly mistaken.

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Reply By: Member - Rowdy6032 (WA) - Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 22:55

Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 22:55
While I am not sure if this is the right forum for this discussion, perhaps as a born and bred Sandgroper I can give my perspective of the shark mitigation program.

For a number of years there has been anecdotal evidence that shark numbers have been increasing along metropolitan beaches. In recent years, two people have lost their lives at Cottesloe, one of the main central swimming beaches over here. Ken Crew, who I used to go to school with, was only about 30 metres from the shore when he was attacked and killed by a great white. At least two people have had their surf skis bitten in half, but managed to survive.

Cottesloe used to attract a lot of early morning swimmers. This is no longer the case as it is considered too dangerous. It's a bit like being told its too dangerous to swim at Bondi.

For many years I have been swimming at a beach south of Perth. This beach is very calm and many people used to swim along the length of the beach for exercise. This is a beach where you would expect to see a few herring but little else. This was until a bloke diving for crabs about 50 metres from the shore was taken by a great white. Needless to say that since then people aren't going out much further than knee deep.

These sharks that we are talking about can be 4 metres or more in length.

It has been several years since they stopped commercial shark fishing and in this time the number of sharks has increased. This is denied by many people, but hardly a day goes by without a beach being closed, sometimes several times a day because of shark sightings. If sharks are no longer being killed it should go without saying that they are breeding and increasing in numbers. Professional fisherman, abalone divers and people who spend their lives on the water, attest to the fact that shark numbers have increased. Fishermen around Rottnest have trouble getting their catch into their boats because of the number of sharks taking their fish.

The majority of people in WA live near the coast in the metropolitan area. Due to the heat and lifestyle, the beach plays an important role in the everyday lives of a lot of people. For the past 185 years people have used the beach as their playground and the public should be able to expect that in that first 100 metres of ocean it is relatively safe to enjoy a swim. Large sharks have plenty of ocean out there, there is no reason for these killers to come in close to shore. In 185 years the scientists have done nothing to protect the public. Their answer, using rubbery figures, was to protect the shark and exacerbate the problem.

While we have air patrols and tagging of sharks, this is not stopping these large sharks from coming in close to the beach. It is only a matter of time before another person loses their life. Something had to be done and the shark mitigation program was started. This consists of drum lines about 1 kilometre off about a dozen metropolitan and popular surfing beaches in the southwest of the state. The hooks used are large to try and prevent any "by catch". The sharks targeted are 3 metres or longer and any under this size are returned to the water.

The government is examining and trialling other means of protecting popular swimming beaches and has installed a few trial shark safety barriers in an attempt to provide a solution that satisfies opponents to the drum lines. Some opponents to the drum lines have even suggested that people should not expect to swim at beaches as it is the sharks' natural habitat, not man's.

Unlike Queensland, where nets as well as drum lines have been used for fifty years, and where there is " by catch", only drum lines are being used here. A study by the CSIRO on the Queensland system showed that it was rare to catch a dolphin, and even rarer to catch a turtle on drum lines. The turtle would have to become entangled in the line. You have more chance of winning lotto than seeing a turtle offPerth beaches.

Unfortunately, there is a vocal minority in this state who believe in an alternative lifestyle and it seems that with lots of spare time on their hands, they protest loudly over many different causes. They have financial support, are very vocal and well organised. All their hunting and fishing is carried out in the supermarket freezer .They have no qualms in using threats and coercion to get their way and it is because of this that the local Fisheries Department are monitoring the drum lines off Perth. The local tender having failed after the commercial fisherman received death threats. A local fisherman is handling the drum lines in the southwest of the state.

This is not a cull with a view to control numbers as we are told by those opposed, it is an attempt to protect several very small lengths of beach, out of thousands of kilometres of coastline, to ensure public safety in those areas. Like it or not those small stretches of coastline is the domain of humans.

Only time will tell if this new program, that will run until April, is effective.
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Reply By: Brian 01 - Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 17:34

Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 17:34
I love reading the diverse opinions that are presented on this forum, it's just a shame that there is no spell check facility available as it would make the reading and understanding a lot simpler.
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Follow Up By: Skulldug - Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 17:42

Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 17:42

There is a spell check facility. It did not however rectify my poor grammar.

Hurried posts from mobile devices written with big thumbs are just part of the modern world.

Not making excuses. Just explaining.

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Follow Up By: mikehzz - Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 18:08

Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 18:08
Sorry but my opinion must diverge. I love the fact that there are so many posts with crazy spelling. Some people manage to spell the same word wrong 2-3 different ways in the same post. It's awesome. Now lets talk more on how greenies and scientists are evil manipulators of dodgy data and fishermen are downtrodden and misunderstood.
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Reply By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 20:24

Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 20:24
If the ABC news tonight is any measure, the great majority opinion on both sides of the continent is firmly against Barnett's action, including one man who had a shark encounter.

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Follow Up By: disco driver - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 00:07

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 00:07
Anyone on the East coast who jumps up and down about what's happening should look in their own back yards before criticising what is happening here in WA.
Why are you not jumping up and down about your Govt's activities over the past 50 odd years, nets and longlines are much more environmentally unfriendly compared to a few very large hooks.

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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 09:57

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 09:57

If it's me you're addressing, I'm not jumping up and down about anything. I just commented on what I saw on the ABC news. There was pretty much equal time given to protests on both coasts and the opinion seemed consistent. Hence my comment on the reportage.


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Follow Up By: Member - Rowdy6032 (WA) - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 11:54

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 11:54
There are 2.5 million people in WA and most of them in the metropolitan area and along the south west coast. The protesters over here are small in comparison.

There is more than sharks at stake here.

You probably noticed the Greens leader Christine Milne was at the recent protest at Cottesloe beach. You may ask why she is in WA complaining about shark control measures and not in Queensland where netting and drum lining has been going on for 50 years.

Due to some votes going missing in WA in the recent federal election it looks like voters in WA are going to be dragged kicking and screaming back to the ballot box for another vote.

One of the seats in contention is that of Greens Senator Scott Ludlam. Ludlam is one of the golden boys in the Greens and a potential future leader. It would be a huge loss to the Greens if he doesn't win his seat.

The Greens are going to milk this for all it is worth, trying to make mileage before any upcoming election. The truth is that most people are sick and tired of hearing about sharks, but you can be assured the Greens will continue to whip it up for all its worth.
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