POLL: Should sharks be culled if they are a danger to surfers?

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A push from surfers in northern NSW for a cull has sparked an angry response from an animal rights group.

It comes after nearly 200 locals, including Ballina’s mayor, local businesses, surfers, fishermen and police met earlier in the week in Lennox Head to discuss the spate of shark attacks and sightings in the region.

Many surfers want a partial shark cull. However, community group No NSW Shark Cull says it’s “unacceptable to cull animals that are with ”.

Great white sharks have been behind recent attacks on the NSW north coast. Animal rights group No NSW Shark Cull says it’s ‘unacceptable to cull animals that are threatened with extinction’. Photograph: Stephen Frink/Getty Images

“We do not have to choose between public safety and protecting marine life; we can easily do both,” the animal rights group said in a statement.

Ballina Shire mayor David Wright said the recent spike in shark sightings and attacks has kept people out of the water and away from the holiday destination.

Helicopter patrols over the past fortnight have spotted several sharks about 50m from surfers following three serious shark attacks in the region.

Evans Head resident Craig Ison was knocked from his board and mauled by a great white during an early-morning surf on 31 July.

A few weeks earlier, bodyboarder Matthew Lee was attacked by a shark at Ballina’s Lighthouse Beach, suffering serious injuries to his lower legs.

In February, a large tore the legs off 41-year-old surfer Tadashi Nakahara in a fatal attack at neighbouring Shelly Beach.

“A lot of people have dry wetsuits hanging up at home,” Wright told reporters. “On Sunday it was a beautiful day, but not many people were out and about.”

Wright said he does not support a shark cull but says a short-term solution must be found.

“I urge surfers to write to the Department of Primary Industries to supplement short-term solutions,” he said.

No NSW Shark Cull said people enter the water at their own risk.

“If people choose to recreate in the ocean knowing full well the risks associated with it, it is morally wrong for us to then kill these wild animals when they mistake people for their natural food,” its statement said.

Surfer Peter Morrison says the spate of recent shark sightings and attacks has kept him out of the water.

“It’s the volume and the intensity of the shark activity,” he said. “You might get one shark incident a year, maybe one or two, but not at this level.”

Morrison said he had not been back in the water since a surf at Broken Head two weeks ago.

“I have always been against culling and I still believe there has to be a scientific way they can be deterred, but right now there doesn’t seem to be any other option,” he said.

We invite you to share your opinion whether sharks should be culled if they are a danger to surfers? Please vote and leave your commentgs at the bottom of this page:

Should sharks be culled if they are a danger to surfers?

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Vibeke Hansen

this are sharks home, peoble know it danger in water– i sport– ok risiko for live !!!——this same for all animal, — this sport are not dancing on the rose, and dear mamma !!!!!!!!

Eileen Carey

That is their natural habitat, not mans. When are "people" going to realize that we cannot control everything on the planet. Leave the sharks alone! If suffers are brave or stupid enough to go into water fully knowing the dangers, then too bad for them!

Mark Mario Hanson

Surfers know the danger of going in the water so why should they expect sharks to be killed just so they can have fun. I'm sorry if I offend anyone but nature intended humans to belong on the land and sharks were given the ocean as their home. We do NOT have the right to over-rule nature

Paula Rock

No, it's their oceans and we are the intruders.

Kate Dougherty

The instant humans step foot into the wild, be it land or sea, they are in the houses of those creatures who call that environement "home".

It is appalling that mankind is so selfish and self-important, that they can kill whatever they wish for their "fun".

Susan Frudd

The ocean is the sharks habitat it is not the surfers….

Peter Deelen

Why always the animals get the debt, then they should be there but stay away because the shark hear there at home and not man. Man is the largest predator that exists and not the shark!!!!!

Marek Poniewierski

The question got it backwards again – how about 'culling' the surfers instead? If someone comes to my house and creates problems, should I be 'culled'?

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

the water belongs to the sharks!

Adi Le Roux

When will this kind of crap stop. What an arrogant bunch of arseholes we people have become. There is danger in any sport, any action we participate in, we can also fall down and die, so what is man's problem with nature????
FIFO fit in or F..k off.

Penny Cheyne Lawrence

Surely there are shark nets that can be used to keep the sharks out of the specified surfing area?

Darren Jessup

Once again a similar question to the poll I left my opinion on a couple of days ago envolving bears ! No sharks should'nt be culled for surfers because they all know there puting themselves at risk by surfing on shark infested waters and it's not the sharks fault if they attack someone in the water. Sharks don't choose to be what they are, it's just what they were when they were put on this planet and they have been around a lot longer than any surfers have which in my opinion gives them a lot more rights to be… Read more »

Dawn Mello

This will never stop. It's a viscious cycle of arrogant humans who want to kill anything that doesn't bow down and kiss their ass. They are wild, if you can't handle the sharks, get out of the sea, that is their world.

Debbie Mildenstein

It’s their home..maybe we should stay out of it!

Angela Oliver

Should surfers be culled if they're a danger to sharks?

Laurie Stephenson