Shark Attacks Spawn Calls for Culling in Australia

shark on dock

Shark attacks are nothing new to the country of Australia, which has a firm understanding of the risk and rewards of a life spent enjoying the ocean. But even this country has had enough shark attacks.

A giant shark caught off the northern coast and attacks in recent weeks, including one against a 38-year-old man who fought off the shark by punching it in the face, has drawn many residents to support the culling of the natural predator.

Culling or the systematic slaughter of wildlife as a means to control the population has been employed in Australia against sharks before. It is also a common technique to control deer and other land animals. The top statesman for Australia’s New South Wales government said he has ruled out a shark cull in the territory as retaliation for recent attacks. 

In July, a shark inflicted serious harm to a 52-year-old surfer. In February, a 41-year-old Japanese surfer was killed by a shark. And most recently in late August, 38-year-old Dale Carr fought off a shark by punching it in the face. 

“Im sure that the shark is missing its left eye and has a sore nose,” Carr wrote in a Facebook post about the incident. 

“The fact that there were random acts of kindness displayed by everyone on the beach that day who were passerby, others who had no obligation to assist is the real story,” he wrote. “(There was) 2.5 litres blood loss and quick thinking doctors, nurses, paramedics doing what they could. Thats the real story.”

In New South Wales, the state’s Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said that while the state has ruled out a shark culling, it would put Aus$250,000 toward tagging and tracking sharks in the region.

“Let’s not forget the ocean is the domain of the shark,” Mr Blair said in a statement. “However, this government is taking action to gain a better understanding of the local risks and how they can be reduced to help inform and protect the public.”

Photo credit: Dreamstime