Sunday, October 23, 2011

5 Reasons Shark Culls Are Bullshit

I promised my next Cranky Pants post would be Why I Don't Comment On Your Blog (after comments galore on Why I Don't Read Your Blog) but I've shoved it back in my drafts folder for a week because can't let this one go. So, with new Cranky Pants button, I give you my latest rant.

There has been an "unprecedented increase" in fatal shark attacks off the WA coast lately. Three in two months. With it has come an outcry for these "man hunters" to be killed because they pose a threat to human life, and today the Western Australian government, in all their infinite wisdom, has decided that yes, these sharks should be killed.

I have a few problems with this.
  1. They are not "man hunters" they are hunters and people sometimes get in the way. Now I'm no marine biologist but I will hazard a guess that Mr Shark doesn't go along and think "hrmmm I feel like killing a human today" rather he swims along and sees a bit of a slow swimming seal-like creature and thinks it's  lunch time
  2. If you go to someone else's home, you obey their rules. With humans it's more likely to cover things like not swearing in front of kids, taking your shoes off at the door or always bringing wine. The ocean is a shark's home, the same rules apply - you do as they wish which sometimes, sadly, includes being eaten
  3. When entering the ocean you know the risks. Jelly fish, stone fish, blue ring octopi and sharks all pose a hazard... if you want to swim without the possibility of becoming an hors d'oeuvres then go to the local pool where you can dodge screaming children who really should be wearing swim nappies - they are just as scary as sharks but their bites are generally not fatal
  4. How can you be sure the shark you're tracking down as a "man hunter" is the right one? Do you interview it? Do you have to read a shark it's rights before the interview? What if they lawyer up, what then? No, it's kill, check stomach, oops we got the wrong one... or maybe it's the right one but it's already digested it's meal so really there is no way of telling since, you know, grey with fins and lots of fucking teeth kinda describes them all
  5. So lets assume for a second they do kill the shark that killed a human... do you think it's a deterrent to the other sharks? Do you think they sit there and go "Shit man, Billy killed that bloke and they shot him. I've told my kids to stick to krill because I don't even wanna chance that happening to them. You can never be too careful". No!! So what is the point?!

So you can probably tell I don't think the sharks should be killed. I'm also pretty damn sure I would think the exact same way were it one of my friends or family members who were tragically taken in what I can only imagine as one of the most terrifying and painful ways to die. It's still not the shark's fault, there is no malice, just a drive to survive.

And so we're clear, if a shark came in to my house, I would reserve the right to eat it, especially if he brought some chips with him and a couple of dim sims.

What do you think of the Western Australian government decision to kill the sharks?

Sunday Grumble at Madam Bipolar


  1. it's such a stupid and wrong thing to do. it's THEIR territory. i don't know about anyone else but when i even dip a toe in the ocean, i'm aware of the risks associated with going into that water, be it 1m, 100m or 3km's into the water, the risks are there and if you're prepared to take those risks on, then for sure swim to your hearts content in the water but if you don't want to risk being attacked, stung or bitten - stick to swimming in pools!

    and so they catch this shark - who's to say that they have caught the correct one? sharks are known to swim vast distances in short spaces of time, some other poor shark that has done no wrong by humans could be caught and killed and so the killer shark is still out there!

    i'm also completely against increasing the quota of sharks that fishermen can catch and also the possible proposed [at this stage] mass culling of sharks.

    wrong, wrong, wrong. and yes i feel for the people who have been attacked, killed, eaten but i'd still feel this way even if it was my loved one who had been taken.

  2. I think it's absolutely ridiculous and most likely a people-pleaser decision because the media has conditioned people to hate sharks. 

  3. I grew up on the coast of SW WA which unfortunately has had its fair share of shark attacks and I've always had a massive phobia of sharks but even I think this is ridiculous.  Rather than wasting money on culling them why not make the popular swimming beaches safer - I'm not exactly sure how this could be done but its one solution.  Then, if you choose to swim outside these areas you've made that decision to do so.  Where I grew up in Busselton we had nets around the jetties where the main beach is and where the kids would do swimming lessons.  It seemed to keep the stingers down too.  Nets are probably not the best option as they may trap other fish but in all the years I swam there I never saw any fish in the net....probably too many people splashing around and they tended to stay away.  JAWS has a lot to answer for....I can't even stick my toe in the water without hearing violins!

  4. I'm with you Glow. And in fact I have heard a number of family members of shark victims say their loved one would never have wanted the shark killed, that they knew the risk of entering shark territory and accepted it. Just unacceptable to start killing randomly.

  5. When event like this happen I wonder if it is meant to make the family who lost a loved one feel better? Or is it just to make an authority figure feel better because they can be seen to be taking action? A cull would be a total waste of time as you so beautifully pointed out. Do the public (aka rate payers) really think they will be safer swimming at dawn or dusk or on an overcast day after this is done? Now I'm feeling ranty pants too! Say no to shark killing!

  6. I'm disgusted by the government's decision on this.

    I've often read/seen interviews where the families of the victims have stated that they don't wish to see the shark harmed. Why not respect that instead of going off half-cocked, culling a creature that was only doing what it needs to survive in its natural habitat?

    In the words of Billy Connolly... "We've got no fucking business in there. The things that live in there
    don't like us. They have made it absolutely plain that they don't - they
    sting us, they fucking... some of them nip us, some of them fucking
    burn us, some of them like to eat us, or they have arms that stick to us
    and fucking drown us. When are we going to take the hint, we are not fucking welcome in there."

  7. Billy Connolly is awesome and right on the money.

  8. Exactly. These people love the ocean and die doing what they love in an environment they respect, why should we jump up and down and demand this on their behalf when they wouldn't have wanted it?

  9. JAWS does have a lot to answer for. I'm shaking my fist at Steven Spielberg!

  10. I agree 100% and was just talking to HB about this tonight. The whole 6pm news was just one big massive PR stunt. What a complete waste of our tax dollars!! Totally hanging out like a crack whore for the 'Why I won't comment on your blog post' too!

  11. I agree!  If one goes for a swim in the ocean, one accepts the risks inherent in it.

  12. I think it is very sad that the people who got eaten by sharks got killed. However, I'm with you on this. We are in the shark's domain. We cannot keep killing them. The same way we cannot cull crocs who eat people. It makes no sense to me at all.

  13. I am so agreeing with you on this one, I've been feeling a bit ranty pants about it too. Absolutely I feel sadness for the families of those taken by the sharks, just as I can only imagine the victim's terror, BUT it is the ocean and sharks do live there! I hope there is such a huge public outcry that the shark gets to live another day.

  14. They are just doing what sharks do. Why do we have to kill them because a human gets in the way?

  15. To me this is just a reaction to sensationalised media. Like killing a shark, any shark, is going to stop this happening again somewhere, some day. Unless they plan on killing all sharks? It's arrogance and ignorance at it's best.

  16. Fiona @ My Mummy DazeOctober 24, 2011 at 8:10 AM

    You're f*nking hilarious! But I totally agree none-the-less.

    I'd probably say that perhaps their reasoning is that the said 'man killer' will get the 'taste' for MAN and become amphibious and hunt us down on land.

  17. Some of the pieces on the deaths (both standard and paid opinion pieces) by so called journalists have been so sensationalist that it's almost comical.

  18. I would not be surprised to actually see that in the paper the way everyone is acting about it.

  19. I starting watching the news and had to turn it off because it was so pathetic. My inlaws were up at the time and told us how they used to be warned not to go in to the ocean above knee height from September to January - just play around in the shallows.

  20. Completely agree. It's just so.. bah.

    I'm a bit of a softie and sometimes thinks animals should have more rights and be treated better. We are both animals with feelings? So punishing one for doing what it does to survive makes me sick.

    Every time I go to the beach, I know there is a possibility of sharks. It is their home and they eat flesh. It's kind of expected.

    I mean no disrespect to those who have lost lives or lost people to shark attacks, but we are part of a natural food chain. We eat animals. Animals eat us. 

  21. I agree 100%
    Why they are killing them is beyond me. Has there been some massive outcry for the death of sharks that i've missed? Probably.

  22. Humans suck. If this is how they carry on i'd rather feed them to the sharks.

  23. I aagree with you, of course you are right, and I hope that more people are at the same opinion!

  24. I agree with you, of course you are right, and I hope that more people are at the same opinion!

  25. I have two problems with this post:
    1. Those pants look yummy not cranky.
    2. Sharks so do communicate saying "Shit man, Billy killed that bloke and they shot him. I've told my kids to stick to krill because I don't even wanna chance that happening to them. You can never be too careful" or along the lines of that. Have you not seen Finding Nemo?!

  26. Well, you know that there is a higher risk to die from a lightning than from a shark attack. Just saying...


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