Whales – Sharks – People – Businesses … who will win?

One thing that is very obvious is that the Japanese have upped their aggression. In one day, three Japanese boats launched 86 assaults on the SS’s two boats

The Steve Irwin

and

The Bob Barker

. Of much concern is their attempt to foul the SS’s boats’ propellers by towing 300 metre-long steel cables in front of the SS’s vessels.

Having your vessel immobilized in the harsh Southern Ocean by another vessel is, in my opinion, a total disregard for fellow human life. It’s time both New Zealand and Australian governments enforce the word ‘Sanctuary’ in the Southern Ocean before people are killed instead of whales! SS video:



Sharks


There have been 892 shark attacks in Australia since records began in 1791, 217 were fatal. This is an average of about one fatal attack a year in 223 years. There have been seven fatal attacks in Western Australia in the last three years. This has the public concerned about playing in the ocean. The white shark has been protected in Australia since 1999. (New Zealand 2007) I suggest we now have a combination of white shark numbers slowly increasing, more people participating in water related activities and arguably less natural food in the ocean for the sharks due to technically sophisticated commercial fishing. Not a good mix!

Businesses in Western Australia that rely on providing services to people involved in ocean activities have been hard hit by the drop off in business since the increase in fatal attacks. This includes dive shops. The Western Australian Government is currently providing AUD$6.85 for what it calls ‘shark mitigation strategies’. Part of this money is allocated to tracking great whites and setting lines to catch them if they come too close to shore. Thousands in Australia plus many from outside Australia have protested re the government’s action. The government is between a rock and a hard place.

Over the decades there have been many ‘devices’ that their inventors believed would protect people from sharks. Now is the time for further serious work on developing methods to drastically reduce the attacks without killing the sharks. We are brief visitors to their environment. It is up to mankind to live in harmony with sharks. Not the other way around!


Summer!


What a great summer Australasia is having. Get wet and enjoy the fantastic sport of diving!

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