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

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs