Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to CNN, Climate Change is making sharks more desperate by destroying the ecosystems which feed them, leading to a surge in fatal shark attacks on humans.
By Jessie Yeung, CNN
Updated 0910 GMT (1710 HKT) October 19, 2020
(CNN) One morning in early October, a now-familiar scene unfolded on a beach in Western Australia.
A shark had attacked a surfer, who was missing. Authorities sent drones into the sky for aerial surveillance, emergency workers jumped onto boats to scour the area, and medics waited on shore.
Days of searching uncovered the man’s surfboard, but his body was never found. He was counted as Australia’s seventh shark attack victim this year — an alarming spike that hasn’t been seen in the country for 86 years.
There are a number of possible explanations — several experts have pointed out that year-by-year figures always fluctuate, and this could be simple bad luck. But there’s another possible culprit: the climate crisis.
As oceans heat up, entire ecosystems are being destroyed and forced to adapt. Fish are migrating where they’ve never gone before. Species’ behaviors are changing. And, as the marine world transforms, sharks are following their prey and moving closer to shores popular with humans.
…Read more: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/10/18/australia/australia-shark-attacks-climate-intl-hnk-scli-scn/index.html
One possible solution might be to thin their numbers are bit. But shark culls are becoming increasingly difficult to organise; Australia’s greens frequently agitate against culling sharks.
Why Sharks Should Not Be Culled to Protect Surfers
Senator tells parliament why sharks should not be culled
Last month Tasmanian Greens senator Peter Whish Wilson, who is an avid surfer, used a speech in parliament to advocate against the culling of sharks as a knee-jerk response to the recent attacks on the north coast.
Mr Whish Wilson described his position as unique one, given he is ‘one who wants to save the creatures who are potentially out to eat him’. We publish his speech here as a contribution to the debate.
I have thought often and deeply on this issue. My conclusions are that the two most important things for a surfer like me are: firstly, understand the risks involved with surfing; and, secondly, only go in the water if you accept the risks. You may still be and are likely to be uncomfortable with the acceptance of these risks—sharks are always on my mind when I am in the water—but it must be your choice. As I just noted, the good news for ocean lovers is the risks of unwanted shark encounters are statistically very low and can be mitigated to some extent. But by any statistical measure death by shark y majority of modern humans.
…Read more: https://www.echo.net.au/2015/09/senator-tells-parliament-why-sharks-should-not-be-culled/
Does culling make a difference? I think its likely they might. Although sharks are free to roam the entire ocean, the reality is much of the ocean is a desert in terms of life. Ocean activity tends to concentrate in nutrient rich areas like coastal fringes, so sharks culled from a region will not necessarily be immediately replaced from an adjacent region.
Culling likely would make our beaches safer – if the culling programme is maintained.
As for the climate argument, in my opinion arguing that climate change is making sharks more ferocious because they are running out of food strengthens the case for culling. Put the starving sharks out of their misery – better for the sharks, better for humans who want to use the beaches.