The Australian Senate: Prevent proactive killing of white sharks in Australia
We, the undersigned, urge you to use your legislative power to ensure ongoing protection of white sharks in both Commonwealth and state waters, including Western Australia, so that no sharks can be killed proactively. We are asking for this based on the following facts:
White sharks are protected both under the EPBC Act (in commonwealth waters) and in Western Australian state waters. They were protected because long term catches of white sharks showed declines (1) and there is currently no scientific evidence showing that populations have recovered (2-4).
White sharks can travel up to 120 km per day (5). As such, the likelihood of catching and killing a shark responsible for an attack on a human is very low. The likelihood of identifying that a shark is going to attack a human and catching and killing the right shark pre-emptively is even lower and cannot be proven.
The increase of shark attacks (including those by white sharks) over the last century, are related to human behaviour and not an increase in shark numbers. Increases are very likely a result of human population growth, increased communication of attacks, and more people using the ocean for recreational activities (6,7). They are unlikely caused by rising number of sharks in the area as some of the species implemented in the attacks have declined significantly both locally and globally (8-10). Moreover, there is no scientific evidence showing that white shark populations have increased (2-4).
Great White Shark plush ‘Aro’ photographed and made lovingly by hand by sharkann