Scientists And Environmentalists Warn Against Over-reaction

A marine hunt has been called in Western Australia for a Great White shark that killed George Wainwright from Texas who was diving off Rottnest Island. George, swimmer Bryn Martin and body boarder Kyle Burden have been killed by sharks along Australia’s long western coast recently.

Fisheries Minister Norman Moore issued an order to kill the shark. Officials laid six baited hooks off Rottnest Island – but removed them after six hours – in the hope of capturing what is believed to be a 3-meter Great White.

Barbara Weuringer urged against a shark hunt, saying there was no way of telling which shark was the killer without killing it and opening its stomach. “It sounds a little bit like taking revenge and we’re talking about an endangered species,” commented the University of Western Australia marine zoologist and shark researcher.

Endurance swimmer and environmental campaigner Lewis Gordon Pugh has been vocal in his opposition to the shark hunt, “We had a shark attack off the beach I train in Cape Town three weeks ago. Thankfully, it is illegal to hunt sharks here.”

He tweeted, “The irony is that by killing sharks to protect swimmers and divers actually creates more danger for everyone else. Sharks are vital for a healthy ocean. If there are no sharks that means the ocean is in trouble. And if the ocean is in trouble, we’re all in trouble. When we go into the sea – we enter their world. I urge all Australians to campaign to stop this hunt.”

Rottnest beaches will remain closed until Monday.

Copyright © 2011 by Open Water Source