Articles on Sharks

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Public attitudes are shifting against government shark culling programs. Athel D'Ombrain Collection, University of Newcastle

The great shark debate: to cull or not to cull?

The great shark debate continues in Australia as summer approaches. Shark bites on bathers and surfers are a particularly sensitive reality. These are personal and community-wide tragedies that implore…
There are a lot of positives in the WA Government’s plan to keep beaches safe - but why cull sharks? platours/flickr

Does WA have a problem with sharks, or with the media?

The WA Premier Colin Barnett and Fisheries Minister Norman Moore recently announced the Government will allocate $6.85-million for its “shark mitigation” strategy, in response to the recent wave of sharks…
New research could help prevent negative encounters between “us” and “them”. Richard Ling

Red alert in the deep blue: sharks are probably colour-blind

We’ve known since early last year that sharks are most likely colour-blind. But today, in a paper published in Biology Letters by our team at UWA, we explain why this is the case. It’s a finding we believe…
There is no evidence that hunting and killing sharks reduces attacks on humans. US Fish and Wildlife Service

Who’s hunting who? Misguided responses to shark attacks

The most recent fatal encounter between a shark and a surfer off the coast of Western Australia is a tragic loss of human life. It prompted a Western Australian government reaction to “hunt and kill” the…
Australia has signed up to three international agreements to outlaw shark finning, but sharks still wash up minus fins. Alex Hofford/EPA

Australia not doing enough to prevent shark finning

Another critically endangered grey nurse shark has washed up on a northern NSW beach, with its fins removed. Shark fins are valued at more than A$400 per kilogram. This high market value encourages the…
A Great White shark like the one suspected of fatally attacking WA surfer Ben Linden. Wikicommons

How government can help us avoid shark “attacks”

The latest fatal shark bite on a surfer, north of Perth, is another in a string of terrible and random tragedies that have befallen Western Australia in the past two years. This seems to be an escalating…
Scientists are clear that tuna catch needs to be cut, but figuring out who will fish less and where is much trickier. AAP

What a tangled net: unravelling the international complications of tuna conservation

The eighth meeting of the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission concluded in Guam on Friday 30 March 2012. Five hundred delegates from more than 40 countries argued for a week about how to reduce…
A WA police officer holds a surfboard recovered after a fatal attack on a man at Gracetown beach last year. AAP/Mogens Johansen

How I survived a shark attack and learned some valuable lessons

It is received wisdom that many shark attacks take place because the ocean predators “mistake” surfers for seals. But this assumption does not recognise what quick and efficient predators they are. The…
A White Shark feeds on a whale carcass off a Perth metropolitan beach in 2009. This was happening before Homo Sapiens existed. AAP/Channel10

Sharks in the city: Getting to know the neighbours

The vast majority of Australians live in coastal cities. This means most of us have sharks as neighbours. Living alongside sharks in metropolitan cities in Australia requires urban resilience. Unlike birds…
Western Australia’s new dedication to shark research is good news for sharks, and for beachgoers. autumn_leaf

A great day for Western Australia’s sharks, and for public safety

Public concern following the recent wave of shark attacks in WA initially prompted the government to respond with suggestions of a shark cull to reduce numbers in a misguided attempt to improve public…
Culling sharks is unlikely to make our beaches safer. Hermanus Backpackers

Cull or be killed: is this really the solution to stop shark attacks?

In Western Australia, politicians and members of the public are calling for a shark cull in response to the state’s recent shark attack fatalities. The most recent of these attacks was on a diver off the…
Shark nets have been proven to hurt sharks, but does that help humans? AAP

The untold story of shark nets in Australia

Western Australia’s Cottesloe Beach has been closed due to concerns a swimmer there was taken by a great white shark. The public is understandably worried, but the local mayor says no shark nets will be…

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