Need for reliable data on sharks
17 September 2015
A juvenile white shark swims in the Port Stephens region. Photo: William Gladstone
It is a fact – there have been 25 shark attacks in the past eight months in Australia, compared with 23 in all of 2014. However, scientists dispute this nominal increase is cause for a shark cull in northern NSW.
Ballina Shire mayor David Wright and about 200 residents have called for a cull after two shark attacks in July and the death in February of Tadashi Nakahara, 41, who was attacked at Shelly Beach.
Marine biologist Bill Gladstone, head of the School of Life Sciences at the University of Technology Sydney, says this knee-jerk reaction to shark attacks is no solution. “With just fear and hype to go on, and no reliable data as yet about the number of sharks swimming in our waters, culling is not a logical approach,” says Professor Gladstone.
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