Upwards of 4,000 people gathered on Cottesloe Beach, Perth, Australia today to rally against the upcoming cull of sharks by the Western Australian government. Similar events were held all over the country including New South Wales and Queensland, both of which have been culling sharks for decades.
Passionate speeches were made by representatives of West Australians for Shark Conservation, Conservation Council of WA, Sea Shepherd Australia, WA Greens, and the Australian Labor party.
Speakers emphasised that proper research is woefully lacking, the cull will damage the marine ecosystem and the indiscriminate killing of sharks and associated bycatch was a poorly considered, knee-jerk reaction by the WA government. Similar shark culls have been tried elsewhere in the world and failed to reduce shark-related fatalities.
Public awareness of shark conservation is making great strides – a gathering like this would have been unheard even 20 years ago – but as the politicians in the WA government are proving, there’s still a long way to go.