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07 Feb 2014 14:26:53
Over 2,000 people brandishing hand-painted posters, shark toys and various other shark-related items braved the heat of Manly Beach last Saturday to protest the West Australian government's shark cull, which started in earnest on Australia Day. One of a series of gatherings held across Australia, New Zealand and even South Africa, the protests came hours after an under-size two-metre shark was pulled from a baited drum line off Perth's Leighton Beach by government officers.
SEA LIFE was there in full force, with Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary aquarist Alice Forrest co-organising the protest. We were there because it is our belief that the approach taken by the WA government is not in the best interests of marine conservation or swimmer safety, as all shark control programs based on beach meshing and drum lines report high numbers of non-target species being caught and killed, including turtles, dolphins and non-target sharks. As well as this, these programs do more to create a feeling of safety than actually provide bather protection.
It is through increased public education about sharks, including the different species in our oceans, which will lead the general public to be 'shark smart' and ultimately provide a far better outcome for both people and sharks. To show your disagreement with this policy, please sign the Greenpeace petition below to save our sharks.