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Young Steller sea lions in Prince William Sound, Alaska. NMFS Permit 14336. Markus Horning

Autopsies from space: who killed the sea lions?

A decade ago, we set out to unravel deep ocean crime scenes we weren’t even sure existed. The crime? Endangered Steller sea lions were rapidly disappearing in parts of Alaska. Their numbers dropped by…
Western Australia has killed two great white sharks after a surfer was seriously injured last week. Sharkdiver.com/Wikimedia Commons

Response to the latest shark bite is fuelled by myth and retribution

When I used to tell people that I did my PhD on the politics of shark attacks, they would ask, “Is there a politics to shark attacks?” Nobody asks that any more. Now they just say, “Oh, like in Western…
Cattle drovers have won back the right to graze livestock in the Australian Alps - against scientists' advice. AAP Image/Bob Richardson

Why is our wildlife in trouble? Because we’re ignoring science

From reef dredging, to shark culling, to opening old-growth forests to logging, environmental policies are leaving Australia’s wildlife exposed to threats. The reason, we propose, is that society and government…
A 2.6 m tiger shark entangled in a WA drum line. It was officially released alive - whether it survived is another matter. Neil Henderson/supplied

WA’s shark cull didn’t answer the big ocean safety questions

As Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority and the federal environment minister Greg Hunt mull the question of whether to let the state government resume its controversial shark cull next…
The WA government has caught 172 sharks since installing drum lines - but not a single great white. AAP IMAGE/ SEA SHEPHERD

Five take-home messages from WA’s official shark cull numbers

Perhaps predictably, the Western Australian government has claimed that its shark drum line season, which ended last week, was a success. In a media statement, fisheries minister Ken Baston said that “172…
Wave of protest: surfers were among thousands who rallied at Cottesloe Beach against the Barnett government’s shark cull. AAP Image/Theron Kirkman

WA shark cull season ends, and ocean users don’t want it to return

The end of April marks the end of Western Australia’s shark cull – for now at least. Since January 25, dozens of sharks (the WA government has not yet released official figures) have been killed off popular…
The Largetooth Sawfish is one of the world’s largest fishes, growing to more than 6 metres. Miguel Clavero

Australian endangered species: Largetooth Sawfish

Sharks and rays are some of the world’s most threatened animals, with a quarter of all species at risk of extinction. Among the sharks and rays, sawfish are some of the most threatened, with all five species…
Nice to see you. To see you nice. Hermanus Backpackers

The exciting prospect of a great white shark in UK waters

In the wake of controversy surrounding the shark cull in Western Australia, it is a pleasant change to hear some positive attention being given to the great white shark known as Lydia who has been tracked…
Headed to a beach near you? EPA/Franck Robichon

White shark, wrong point? Lydia’s big ocean swim

A great white shark is headed in the UK’s direction, but even better than that – according to the pundits it’s a great white mummy, in the family way. In fact the scientific value of this observation doesn’t…
Western Australia’s shark kills follow decades of similar policy in Queensland. AAP Image/Sea Shepherd

Has Queensland really saved lives by killing thousands of sharks?

One of the most common justifications for Western Australia’s shark cull is the longstanding use of baited hooks - or drum lines - in regions such as Queensland. Two key questions need answering. First…
When it comes to sharks, it’s important we know size and species. Scubaben/Flickr

Explainer: sharks — why size and species matter

Dozens of sharks have reportedly been caught since Western Australia’s “catch-and-kill” drum line program began two weeks ago. Firm numbers are not available given the WA government’s unwillingness to…
Sawfish are the most endangered members of the shark family. Flickr/Kaptain Kobold

Sharks and rays threatened worldwide – overfishing to blame

We have heard a lot of about sharks recently. In particular Western Australia’s plan to cull threatened white sharks has stirred up plenty of protest from the community, and a frenzy of media coverage…
Shark bites on humans are best viewed as random acts of nature rather than deliberate attacks. Mogens Trolle/www.shutterstock.com

Shark bite statistics can lie, and the result is bad policy

The mathematics of shark bites look pretty simple: the more incidents, the worse the situation. That said, no amount of scientific explanation can fully address the tragedy of people being injured or killed…

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