Thursday, August 17, 2006

Culling Great White sharks, no a solution to diminishing shark attacks

A proposal to take a bite out of the number of Great White Sharks, to minimise the deadly threat posed by the creatures, has been scorned by marine experts in South Africa.

Environmentalists bared their teeth yesterday at the idea of selectively culling Great Whites in the waters of False Bay in the Cape.

Some Capetonians had called for the protection of humans before that of the predator shark and consequently the culling of the animal, following last week’s attack in which a lifesaver lost his right foot.

“The proposed culling of Great Whites is totally nonsensical and based on no knowledge of the species or the problem,” head of the aquatic unit at South Africa’s World Wide Fund for Nature, Deon Nel, told The Citizen yesterday.

He said measures such as killing, catching nets and baited lines had worked in reducing the number of Great White attacks where the sharks were local.

“In False Bay we have migratory Great Whites which move from Seal Island along the coastline and even down to Australia.

“Removing or killing the sharks will not reduce the numbers.”

He also said that the shark attacks in False Bay were on bathers, surfers and spear-fishermen who venture far offshore.

“There has been no single attack on bathers who enter the sea waist-deep,” Nel said.


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