Shark focus should be on preventative action

Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren has expressed concern that the WA Government exceeded its own Imminent Threat Guidelines this week to seek Federal permission to kill sharks in Esperance following serious injuries to a young surfer. 

“First and foremost, my thoughts are with Mr Pollard. I sincerely  wish the best possible recovery for him, as he and his family and friends deal with what has happened,” Ms MacLaren said. 

“The incident has highlighted how the shark hazard in WA is spread right along our vast coastline, and it confirms that these incidents occur throughout the year, and not just November to April. 

“We may never know whether different Government policies to increase safety for surfers – such as subsidising surfboard-based shark repellents and improved shark surveillance and warning systems would have prevented this incident, however it is possible they would have. 

“Meanwhile, it is absolutely clear that retribution-style shark killings as favoured by the Premier do not increase safety. 

“Two protected great white sharks were destroyed yesterday and no one is claiming that those animals were necessarily responsible for biting Mr Pollard. 

“The idea of going out and killing sharks because sharks have bitten someone is based on the rogue shark fallacy that once a shark has bitten someone, it will be inclined to do so again. 

“This is the stuff of Hollywood, and as the Greens have pointed out already, disputed by the Government’s own SharkSmart website.

 “The Greens again urge the Premier to  focus solely on real preventative measures to stop shark bites and get over this obsession with killing sharks, which does not improve safety.”