Protests took place on beaches around the nation on 1 February 2014 over the Western Australian government’s shark cull, which has followed seven fatal attacks during the last two years.
On the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research blog Conversations with AUSCCER, Leah Gibbs and Andrew Warren of the University of New England highlighted the local and international reactions to the shark cull. They argue:
But what exactly is he [Colin Barnett WA Premier] protecting Western Australians from? The cull strategy is based on no scientific evidence and no environmental assessment.
…Perhaps there are two good things coming out of this series of events. First, it has mobilised the community on an environmental issue – something we haven’t seen on such a large scale in Australia in some time. And second, it is slowly highlighting the use of related strategies in other states.
Omar Todd of the Sea Shepherd, best known for their concern for the welfare of another ocean creature, tweeted from a Cottesloe Beach rally.
— Omar Todd (@OmarSeaShepherd) February 1, 2014
Blogger Rossleigh Brisbane takes a swipe at the Federal government’s asylum seekers policy and Prime Minister Tony Abbott's recent attacks on the national broadcaster the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) with a double dose of satire: ABC Shows Bias In Their Reporting of Shark Cull!
Sharks are attempting to enter this country without a visa, so it’s clear that they’re illegal entrants.
… Once sharks come within a certain distance of shore, they’re in our territorial waters and that that gives us the right to do what we like to them.
Illustrator Ash Nathens is ‘a keen diver, kayaker, swimmer & proud sandgroper [a Westralian]’.
This shark cull is a hopelessly ignorant task and a shamefully un-Australian endeavour. Stop playing Neptune, Mr. Barnett [WA Premier], and cease this stupidity.
Clearly there are people supporting the cull. Craig McAllister was swimming against the twitter tide #sharkcull:
#sharkcull is working and needs to occur. Protecting our beaches and human life is important. Works in the east coast, will work here in WA
— Craig McAllister (@craig_jmac) February 1, 2014
But not all shark attack survivors join him:
Any1 think Shark Culls r a good idea? Ask my old friend Paul De Gelder: http://t.co/LvpfQpSuPA If any1 knows about shark attacks it's him!
— CiecmateBTE (@Ciecmate) January 30, 2014
He's referring to Paul de Gelder:
While there are a few mainstream media reports of support for the cull, there has been little noise on social media in recent days.
This oldie but a goodie from Animals1st sums up the online mood:
— Animals1st (@Animals1st) January 28, 2014