News / Asia

Australians Protest Shark Culls

People hold placards during a protest against Western Australia's state government's shark killing policy on Manly beach in Sydney, Australia, Feb. 1, 2014.
People hold placards during a protest against Western Australia's state government's shark killing policy on Manly beach in Sydney, Australia, Feb. 1, 2014.
Phil Mercer
Thousands of people have attended rallies to protest the killing of sharks in Western Australia. The state government has ordered the cull of sharks over 3 meters near popular beaches following a series of fatal attacks.  Ministers say the action will save lives, although campaigners say the cull is unnecessary and inhumane. 
 
In Western Australia, the authorities have set baited hooks off popular beaches in response to seven fatal shark attacks in three years.
 
But demonstrators at more than a dozen rallies across the country argue that a cull is not the solution, and will only harm the sea's delicate ecological balance.  They also insist that the measures will not make beaches around Western Australia’s state capital, Perth, any safer for swimmers and surfers.
 
Protester John Lee said hunting sharks would cause irreparable damage to the environment.
 
“Don't need to kill them. I mean, that's their home, you know. There won't be anything left in the ocean, you know. Go from sharks, to whales, to whatever, eventually it will just be water. There won't be anything you know living,” he said.
 
Any Great White, Tiger or Bull shark more than three meters long caught by the hooks will be shot.  Smaller specimens will be released. The policy was announced after the death of a surfer in Western Australia in November.
 
Federal authorities have granted Western Australia special permission to kill endangered shark species, including the Great White.  
 
The state’s deputy leader, Kim Hames, said ministers would not bow to public pressure to stop the cull.
 
“We believe the government is doing the right thing. We've had seven people that have lost their lives in our water in the last three years compared to over the last 20 years, so the numbers have significantly increased in the last three years,” said Hames.
 
A recent poll indicated that more than 80 percent of Australians believed sharks should not be killed and that people swim and surf in the ocean at their own risk.
 
Opponents of the cull are taking legal action to stop it.  Authorities in Western Australia say the measures are temporary and will likely be brought to an end in April when fewer swimmers take to the water.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mat from: London
February 02, 2014 11:48 AM
I really can't believe 80% of the population would rather save a great white shark over a human being?!! How absurd minded is that?!! I was actually in Cottesloe beach a number of years ago (I didn't dare to swim, as I didn't feel comfortable), esp after a man died there a few weeks before from losing both of his legs to a shark attack!! That's TWO reasons not to go to back to OZ now!
In Response

by: Goutami from: Melbourne
February 07, 2014 1:45 AM
80% of people would rather save the world's oceans, ecosystems and natural wildlife than help wipe out species that are already endangered and should be protected in craven attacks stemming from fear and ignorance.
I suggest you start sleeping on the floor if you're so concerned about a human life, because more people die falling out of bed in a year than from shark attacks.
In Response

by: JW from: Australia
February 03, 2014 10:05 AM
This is not a matter of choosing a shark's life over a human life - there is no guarantee that the sharks being culled are the ones doing the attacking and it's not going to do anything for the people who have already been attacked. If you DO return to Australia, please leave your ignorance and fear mongering behind - Australia, especially WA, definitely doesn't need any more of that. These attacks generally occur to surfers swimming far offshore and people are fully aware of the risks - and many surfers who have been attacked are also against the cull. Killing random endangered sharks isn't going to make it any safer to swim in shark territory and has terrible consequences for the ocean's ecosystem.

by: Ken Yates from: Bunbury
February 01, 2014 8:19 PM
Its sad that one of the paragraphs states a poll indicates 80 perent of the population is against the shark cull. Less than one percent of the Western Australian population showed there displeasure about shark reduction at Cottesloe. Who was polled?. Ken
In Response

by: Ken Yates from: Bunbury
February 03, 2014 7:41 PM
The people in favour of the shark reduction dont need to protest. Its allready happening. Its the tiny minority against it that have to show the numbers. As i said. Less that one percent of the population
In Response

by: JW from: Australia
February 03, 2014 10:12 AM
The latest news reports from Australia don't seem to back up your claim that less than one percent of the WA population showed displeasure at the shark cull. There were approximately six thousand protesters against the shark cull at Cottesloe Beach on Saturday (including Liberal supporters), and only a handful for it, according to 7 news.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs