Open Letter to the Honorable Premier of Western Australia, Mr. Colin Barnett:
Dear Mr. Premier,
I’m writing to you about the Australian Shark Cull Policy, which targets various shark species, including the endangered great white. This policy was initiated late last year following a spate of fatal attacks in 2011. Despite widespread criticism in Australia, you have refused to back down, claiming your catch-and-kill policy is justified.
South Africa is a world leader in shark research and the killing of great white sharks is prohibited in South African waters.
Australia should not be allowed to make unilateral policy decisions that affect the global ocean environment. Furthermore, the Australian cull policy violates international laws. It targets various shark species, including the endangered great white. An independent study has found that there is no proof that this initiative will reduce attacks and shows that it would probably have an adverse effect on the environment. The Australian government has ignored a letter from over 100 leading marine scientists and researchers stating the same.
White shark researcher Blair Ranford, a member of Western Australians for Shark Conservation, says the great whites targeted in Australia are the same ones that annually migrate to South Africa. In fact, a recent shark-tagging project has detailed the migratory pattern of great whites and shows that sharks typically commute between South Africa and Australia. This means our great whites and yours are genetically of the same stock.
I appeal to you, Mr. Premier, to reconsider and urgently intervene in this matter. Please bring this senseless destruction of our common natural resource to an end now.
John L Bradfield