BALLINA (Australia)- The tide is turning in Australia. More and more Australians are against lethal measures to keep sharks away from their shores such as shark culls, shark nets and drumlines.
Website The Conversation did a public survey showing how the public is fed up with killing sharks to prevent the possibility of attacks on humans in the so-called culls.
‘Phase out shark nets’
Earlier this month a Senate Committee report on shark deterrent measures came with recommendations to to “immediately replace lethal drum lines” with so-called SMART drum lines and to phase out shark nets.
The survey came with 5 take-home messages from the research results:
- There is little blame on the shark. The tide has turned and the public is sophisticated enough to understand that sharks are not intentionally hurting people.
- There is little blame on the government. Governments that feel they need to continue using shark nets or else face the wrath of the public following a shark bite should rework their political calculations.
- The public no longer supports policies that kill sharks. In Western Australia, 75% supported non-lethal options, in Ballina the number was 83% and in the Sydney experiment it reached 85%.
- A Save the Sharks movement has begun, with the public we have polled consistently voicing greater support for conservation approaches above killing sharks.
- Survey respondents believe that governments choose lethal measures to ease public concern, not to make beaches safer. This is a problem for Australia’s democracy; the public believes that policies are being designed to protect governments, not people.
This last point is arguably the most serious flaw of all in these policies: the continued killing of sharks for political gain.
Read more at The Conversation.