The WSL plays it cool as surfers get edgy about sharks

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

"You can't script this!"

When the WSL marketeers drafted that tag line shark attacks weren't part of the random happenings. Sneaker sets and Toledo throwing dual oops at J'Bay? Yes. Toothy predators rising from the deep?...erm, no.

But that's what happened yesterday just up the coast from the main comp site, and not once but twice. The second attack, which happened about five hours after the first, tilted the story away from an indiscriminate attack towards rogue shark theory.

Following the first atack, the WSL rightfully put the contest on hold then continued under extra surveillance. The second attack moves the whole operation into unknown territory. Even J'Bay 2015 happened during the Final so the competitors didn't have to hit the water again.

This morning the WSL released the following message:

"WSL continues to assess the current situation at the Margaret River Pro where there have been two confirmed shark incidents near Gracetown in the last 24 hours. We have actioned our well established safety protocols and are gathering all the latest information to determine next steps. We will continue to liaise with all involved, most importantly the surfers, their safety remains paramount. Today's competition (Tuesday in Western Australia) has already been called off and all surfers have been advised not to surf in the area. We are constantly evaluating the situation, and will update as soon as possible."

Last year the organisers of the Margaret River Pro used Shark Shild devices on the bottom of rescue PWCs though that's not the case this year.

With Tourism WA a major sponsor the WSL is walking a tight line with their messaging, however some surfers have already voiced their feelings via Instagram:

Italo Ferreira: "Two shark attacks in less than 24 hours here in Australia, detail, just a few miles from where the event is being held. Very dangerous do you not think? even so, they keep insisting on doing steps where the risk of having this type of accident is 90%, so I ask: is not the safety of athletes a priority? We already had several alerts. Life goes beyond that! I hope it does not happen to any of us. I do not feel comfortable training and competing in places like this!"

From Italo's IG account

Gabriel Medina: "Today they had two shark attacks on a beach close to where we're competing. I do not feel safe training and competing in this kind of place, anytime anything can happen to one of us. Hope not. Leaving my opinion before it's too late!"

Fortunately for the WSL the southwest is about to cop two days of onshore wind. That means two laydays are locked in, and it also gives them two days in which emotions can subside and surfers can return to the real script.

Comments

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 9:31am

Hard to see them running if the surfers are saying things like that.

MidWestMonger's picture
MidWestMonger's picture
MidWestMonger commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 9:44am

Wow so Italo is 90% sure he's gonna get munched and gabs is leaving his opinion before it's too late. They're gonna have to build more pools and an inland championship tour for these poor guys, this is doing their heads in

Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 12:27pm

yeah, more pools. Send them inland! Perfect!

cgrover's picture
cgrover's picture
cgrover commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 2:01pm

Agreed and tell them about how sharky the west coast of SA is while you're there

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 9:47am

What about us who live here!!!! We deal with this shit on a daily basis and nothing is being done about it. Minority groups putting fish above human life, you disturb me. The WA govt needs to pull their finger out of their arse and do something proactive. If they won't, will the Fed govt do something! My 10 year old son watched the news coverage last night and said he doesn't want to go into the ocean anymore...WTF, we live at the beach and no child or adult should have to feel that way. If the WA govt thinks this isn't an issue then they are sorely mistaken. They bang on about wanting to attract tourism, well their inaction has just put paid to that...well done.
Whilst I really feel for the WSL surfers and hope nothing happens if they continue to run the comp, the risks are definitely elevated and after they leave those same risks will still be elevated. You muppets that the public put in office (I certainly didn't vote for them) DO SOMETHING! You can call this an emotional reaction I don't give a shit, I have been on these forums for years saying something more needs to be done.

occertours's picture
occertours's picture
occertours commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 10:38am

Sad state of affairs Quokka. Margs was on the shortlist for our boy's surf trip this year due to less reported incidence but it is definitely off the table now. That's ten guys spending big on car rental, accommodation, food and copious amounts of booze removed from your economy. It would be great if there was balance in the argument but the vocal minority seem to get too much airtime. Our pollies seem to lack any conviction. They are all too worried about offending someone and losing votes!
Good luck getting it under control

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 10:59am

Prime example...WA govt take note, you fucken morons.
That is a shame Occ, WA, and specifically SW WA, is a beautiful place, which we love to share with travellers. You undoubtably would have had an awesome time and got some memorable waves. I also hope something changes soon that means you can feel comfortable getting over here.

50young's picture
50young's picture
50young commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 9:49am

Those guys have dedicated drones spotting directly over their surf zone plus a ski per competitor in the water on the ready. More than any of us get on a daily basis. toughen up princesses

MidWestMonger's picture
MidWestMonger's picture
MidWestMonger commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 9:56am

Yes well put. But they are afraid when 'training'. I.e. Sharing the same risks as Joe Public at the breaks away from the comp arena. They need photo opportunities to keep sponsors money coming in.

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 10:29am

We all said that it would take a child fatality for anything to happen, that happened with teenager Laeticia Brouwer (RIP young lady) and guess what, still nothing happening......crickets from the WA Gov.
Maybe if a WSL competitor was attacked something might finally happen. It will be the final nail in the coffin for WA Tourism, but apparently the views of a few with dreadlocks and non-water users in Fremantle is more important than the local economy and local ocean users. The older guys through 1960-1990's had a great run with little to worry about.

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 10:37am

That photo of the dorsal page by Italo is a tourism trainwreck

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 11:00am

It's gotta be the first time in recorded human oceangoing history we have decided that we shall not take catch from all of it. I wonder if this, after 20 years, leads to an ecosystem imbalance?
1990: "Let's preseve the whales. Cool, their numbers really fell. Let's protect the GWS, after all it's at the top of the chain and we have no real idea of what the numbers are. Nice. Let's continue to smash the pink snapper, it's tasty."
My point being that when we intervene artificially in an ecosystem picking winners and losers we end up becoming environmental managers and juggling plates. See also: Reunion Island, imposition of Marine Parks and withdrawing of fishing licences.

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 11:31am

Bang on johnno. Imagine bringing back harpooning whales and clubbing seals, as well as culling noahs...the treehuggers would go into meltdown.
The seal problem is not due to local seals, they are the dirty stinking cuzzy bro type...apparently root like rabbits.
It's a perfect storm for GWS's to thrive.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 5:50pm

Quokka, re your comments with 10yr old above, consider a trip out this way for eg, still feels quite safe (could be an illusion), beaches for kids with clear water so you can see anything coming, a few nice sandy learner point setups for him to learn to ride long little walls too and develop turns.

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 6:09pm

Sounds nice, where is that johnno?

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 6:26pm

Hmmm, without being too cryptic, look back over a few weeks to see if I speak up on any of the forecasters' commentary with the reports, then take a look via maps at the coast you think I'm on. You'll see :) Moved to WA as a kid so it was my formative surfing state though. Once the sharks became apparent I'd shift my surfing to beachies where I could see a long way (in WA), especially if out with the kids. Moving back home over this way, it's been a great coast for our kids to grow up on. Yes, we've been out in the water with GWS here but very infrequent and they were benign on the occasions we have seen them.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 11:04am

What are they thinking? The ratings would have been through the roof if they had put it on at Lefties today! Aren't these people interested in making money?

Whitebait's picture
Whitebait's picture
Whitebait commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 11:32am

Ok. So I don't want to scare monger but is that a shark in JJF's waves in Round 1, Heat 4 at the 25 minute mark (It is a replay shot showing different angles). It can be seen as a shadow coming down inside the wave?

Whitebait

Smitdoggie's picture
Smitdoggie's picture
Smitdoggie commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 11:42am

Such an awesome event in arguably the best place on earth, yet the comments from the Pro's will echo long after the tour has moved on and with the amount of social media followers these guys have will be a huge tourism hit to WA. I've no doubt this will weigh on the minds of the WSL when they consider extending the contest past its expiry date in 2019. Sure the government can do much more but its still part of the risk of surfing and it shouldn't be blown out of proportion. Bigger chance of hitting a Karri on Caves Rd than being a shark attack victim!

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 11:46am

johnno, given the extent of our fishing and the degree of oceanic pollution we are de facto managers of these ecosystems. We can choose to do this by considering the evidence, or we can blunder on doing whatever the loudest pressure group demands. I would suggest that you are completely wrong on whale populations, though things might be different on the west coast. As for GWS numbers, we just don't know what is happening. I am not sure that any feasible policy would reduce attacks in WA. The best hope is technology to warn people when they are around, but then again, I have watched a 3m Bull Shark swim through a crowd......and half of them didn't go in.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 5:47pm

Ah, yes, my phrasing wasn't the best - intention was "Protect the whales, their numbers have really fallen over the historic period, their numbers increase, cool" - trying to say that protection took very low numbers and worked by increasing them, to 25,000+ on the east coast IIRC. No such base for the GWS until last year, over 20 years into the protection period.

Agree with everything else you wrote - we already are environmental managers, inasmuch as our exploitation of the oceans is throwing up multiple curve balls (such as offshore factory fishing chasing bull sharks into Reunion where they ate the protected reef sharks, then people).

Since we are environmental managers, people are now being attacked and dying in WA, we have the means to act, why do we not further manage the environment in this case?

At least we now have a population estimate for adult GWS on East and West coasts, with a very wide estimation range for young/juveniles. Note the attacks mentioned a shark in the juvy size range, learning what prey can be attacked as it transitions from fish to aquatic mammals...

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 12:07pm

According to Bond University shark expert and Director of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Dr Daryl McPhee carrying capacities of white shark prey items like seals and whales have rebounded to theoretical maximums.

Marine mammals are the dominant prey items of large (>3 meters) white sharks (Hussey et al. 2012; Fallows, Gallagher, and Hammerschlag 2013). In Australia, the population of the humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) and the New Zealand fur seal (Arctocephalus australis forsteri) have increased (Gales, Haberley, and Collins 2000; Bannister and Hedley 2001). The latter is also increasing its geographic distribution in temperate coastal regions in Australia, including in Western Australia in locations where recent fatal shark bites have occurred (Gales, Haberley, and Collins 2000; Berry et al. 2012).

So food availability is no problem for white sharks in WA waters.

What does seem to be a phenomenon is that when whale carcasses are washed up it both attracts white sharks and makes them more aggressive and prone to attack.

Perfect sunshine, clear water in the west yesterday. A blue bird surfing day and yet given that a white shark would be able to easily identify that a surfer in the water was not a prey item they were motivated to attack.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 12:27pm

What can be done?

Smart Drumlines are almost a no brainer.

Cheap, easy to install and manage, no by catch, no harm to marine life and provide valuable scientific data as well as remove large white sharks from the surf zone.

Set the drums, launch from Gracetown and tag and release the sharks. No animal harmed and at least whites which are in the surf zone are given a ride out the back and mildly traumatised.

Given how well this has worked and is working on the east coast it seems almost negligent for WA not to be trialling it.

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 12:37pm

Totally agree

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 11:12pm

I see your point. Are there too many sharks around that stretch though.
Last time they set drum lines all they caught were bulls and tigers
GWSL
smarter than we think ?

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 11:52pm

Yep, too many between the capes plus Geographe Bay.
Previous drums were set at wrong time of year.
WA govt can use some of the $1bn GST bounty they got handed, to deploy smart drums. No excuse now.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 12:26pm

Smart drum lines are certainly effective at catching sharks for relocation and it is possible that this would reduce attacks. Unfortunately there is no real data on this as they have been in use for only a short time and shark attacks are very rare events. Installing them might give people more peace of mind but their actual impact on shark attack rates will take a long time to determine. Governments need to weigh up these decisions on a cost/benefit basis. If the money spent funding drum lines could save more lives elsewhere, that's where it should go.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 12:30pm

But drum lines have been used for a while. They may not have been 'smart', which is only to mitigate wildlife loss, but the effect is the same.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 1:38pm

Shark attacks are so rare that reliable evidence about their causes and prevention is even rarer. It is easy to assert that logically they should work, but that isn't evidence.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 12:30pm

See above. Smart Drum lines are cheap, easy to install and easy to manage.
Now a well tested technology.

Agree their long term value for deterrence is still an open question but there is no doubt in the short term they have been stunningly successful at both reducing encounters and increasing confidence.

Hard to see a viable, logical excuse for the WA govt not to be trialing them.

lostdoggy's picture
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lostdoggy commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 12:32pm

Not to mention adding to the data pool from another region.

quokka's picture
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quokka commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 12:44pm

Not to mention enabling a tagging a program. In addition to this they need sonar buoys along this stretch of coast. How did the two buoys get so rapidly implemented off Esperance, was this down to local pressure groups, i.e. residents who had had a gutful? You would have thought there would be enough pressure being felt to add a few more from Naturaliste to Leeuwin.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 12:35pm

The argument against drum lines: that they don't work at catching white sharks and that they attract sharks into the surf zone are pretty easily dismissed.

In the first instance, they have been proven to be spectacularly successful at catching white sharks when set where white sharks are.
And secondly, in this case white sharks are already in the surf zone so by setting the gear just out the back you are catching sharks that are already there.

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 12:47pm

I still reckon the GWS's need to be thinned out.

AndoMc's picture
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AndoMc commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 6:36pm

Totally agree quokka

boxright's picture
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boxright commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 12:50pm

Just about anything can be rescued by a clever spinmeister, they can sway public opinion in their favour, but I reckon the WSL would do good to ignore the PR team and speak to scientists instead. How likely is it to happen again? What can the water patrol do to increase safety? Therese are just some of the questions they'll want to know the answers to before they send the surfers out again.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 12:54pm

I don't know whether there is any scientific expertise in those matters Boxright, I really don't.

We saw from the J-Bay comp last year that white sharks are quite happy to cruise alongside jet skis, and in fact may be attracted to the sound of the engine.
A drone's ability to spot a white shark is limited by several factors including the depth at which the shark is swimming the cloud cover and the bottom over which it is swimming.
Ie on a sunny day with good vis a white shark stands out on a shallow sandy bottom.
Dull day with clouds and turbidity and a white shark swimming along reefy bottom will be hard or impossible to spot.

You would think at the very least they would rule out the Box and North Point for those reasons alone. As well as North Points proximity to previous attacks and whale carcass.

dustys's picture
dustys's picture
dustys commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 3:31pm

I would imagine modern drones (not consumer ones, but the kind they'd use for this type of application) could be outfitted with infrared cameras and other sensors capable of seeing sharks that are difficult to spot with the naked eye.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 3:45pm

Not to my knowledge, but I could be wrong.

Sharks are cold blooded and there may not be enough of a temp differential between them and the surrounding ocean and sea floor to distinguish them by infra-red.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 12:57pm

I thought all Brazilians were tough and knew jujitsu.

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 2:07pm

Yeah I thought the two zilla comments summed up their approach to surfing. "It is a playground for us as ATHLETES (not surfers who deal with all aspects of the ocean) and these pesky sharks shouldn't be there. They are stopping us. Lets all go play in Kellys poo, sorry pool, where we are safe and warm". Excuse me but F*&$ off. You play in the ocean, are blessed with amazing ability, and the WSL puts you in great waves and then you have the temerity to complain and be woozy boy. The sharks were there before brazzos learn't to surf and instead of complaining like spoilt kids, work with those involved for a solution. Complaining about surfing Nth point with two people out? Where is Blackie (Kent) on this, he drives the boats who research this.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 8:20pm

Agreed, total BS statements.
Maybe they'll all band together and cancel the rest of the tour for the year because they got scared and call Italo the world champion. I mean, it worked for CJ Hobgood.

boxright's picture
boxright's picture
boxright commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 1:01pm

No they wont be able to get any certainty but point being the issue needs to be addressed scientifically (even if it isn't conclusive) and not spun over and ignored. I really don;t know what they can do but DoC is paramount at this point.

cd's picture
cd's picture
cd commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 1:03pm

Same as above Was looking at planning a trip over to Margs WA area opposed to going overseas, thinking that the shark events had settled down. Will be putting South West WA as a destination on hold for now and looking elsewhere again. I'm sure were not the only ones. More tourism dollars going somewhere else. I'm sure that GWS aren't endangered or threatened anymore, lifting the protection status is a start.

garyg1412's picture
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garyg1412 commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 12:48pm

Does the media only pick up on the Brazilian opinions in these instances or do the other surfers feel the same way. If not, it might be that Italo, Gabby & Co are more wired to thoughts of terrifying ways to die. To put them at ease maybe they should seriously consider the possibility they could be seriously injured or killed by a lightning bolt from a nearby storm while competing in “shark infested” waters. Maybe the WSL should have safety protocols in the event of extreme weather near any contest site – maybe they do.

I say all this tongue in cheek, but the fact remains that there are inherent dangers in all forms of sport – some just more obvious and terrifying than others and most of the time, thanks to sponsorship (and in the words of the great Roger Waters) “The Show Must Go On”.

shoredump's picture
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shoredump commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 1:27pm

Pretty sure Kelly doesn’t surf Brasil because of the 90% chance of getting shot there

warddy's picture
warddy's picture
warddy commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 1:28pm

It’s a bit hypocritical of the WSL to say they are most concerned at the safety of the surfers when they are happy to let them surf Pipe and Chopes with no headgear when everyone knows its a bees dick to death some days.

Beagle's picture
Beagle's picture
Beagle commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 1:54pm

Sadly, when these things happen people lose all sense of perspective. Shark attacks are rare. Murders are much more common, certainly in Brazil (20-30 per 100,000 people). I'd rather take my chances surfing cobblestones solo covered in tuna blood than be caught dancing with someone else's girl in Imbatuba.

50young's picture
50young's picture
50young commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 2:06pm

Another shark sighting at lefthanders today on Dorsal

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 2:17pm

SLSWA Twitter account: "Fisheries advise 3 x tiger sharks sighted 11:11hrs 17/04 Lefthanders Surfing Spot, south of Gracetown, sharks sighted 400m offshore , Fisheries vessel towing whale carcass to Gracetown have 2 tiger sharks and 1 great white following"

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 2:31pm

They've towed the whale carcass offshore?

tomdo's picture
tomdo's picture
tomdo commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 4:24pm

Probably towing the whale to somewhere they can get the bobcat in. The whales are all getting buried inland.

Thank you for not surfing.

Legrope's picture
Legrope's picture
Legrope commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 4:39pm

I suggested to tow it offshore and let them feed on that. Settle them down after a big feed. That is exactly what they are after. Could be more than 1 shark in the area as whale carcasses generally attract a few. Give them what they want. Why take it away from them or tease them by taking it to another beach to hang around? Could hang it off a big boat offshore and get some scientific research done as well.

AndoMc's picture
AndoMc's picture
AndoMc commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 7:05pm

That'd be the common sense approach.

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 12:18pm

Perfect solution, govt should love it as it wouldn't cost jack shit to do.

Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 2:35pm

Just hook them up to Shanan Worralls Shark Eyes.
https://sharkeyes.com.au/
That's the best deterrent.

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 3:06pm

I’m betting if there are surfable waves their are pros and average joes our surfing Marga ( not Margie’s) right now. WSL have advised surfers not to enter the water - good luck with that. Wasn’t Kelly and Co surfing j-bay hours after the Mick affair ?

knB

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 3:08pm

They towed it to the beach in Cow Bay. Lifting it via chopper would have been better...more $$$ saved I suppose. Nice litle slick right up the coast into the bay.

mk1's picture
mk1's picture
mk1 commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 3:46pm

Tim, I really like that idea. Pity it's a bit harder to test out but it makes sense.

If you are in touch with him, could do with a pair of eyes on a dive mask tamer (back of head). Currently use a yellow tamer for buddy viz but a dark one with 2 white eyes would work for that too, and better than swimming around with a yummy yellow strap on the back of the head.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 3:54pm

Yeah, you go first.

savanova's picture
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savanova commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 4:37pm

NEWS FLASH !! Sharks spotted and shark attacks on south coast of NSW at various beaches at various times and NO Smart Drum Lines. All visiting surfers are advised to stay away indefinitely...

wbat's picture
wbat's picture
wbat commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 5:06pm

Thanks mate..... When do you suggest that we return?

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 5:05pm

savanova before 2015 as far as I am aware there were no drumlines on the south coast and there have always been plenty of sharks down there. So your point is what? That all surf areas have to be provided with the same level of protection regardless of population? Well that isn't going to happen. I have surfed WA, SA and the Ballina region in the past and probably will again regardless of the level of protection. If you are not comfortable surfing where you live then realistically your choices are move or give it away. Don't think the government os going to wave a magic drumline at you and solve the problem. I suspect that there are a few locals, while sorry about the injury, who are quietly pleased about the bad publicity.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 5:37pm

True, but a bit rich from a bloke who has spent his whole life surfing behind Sydneys nets.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 5:40pm

Ha ha always check the nets are out before I surf.

nathan666's picture
nathan666's picture
nathan666 commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 10:25am

Haha blind boy, I think he is taking the piss mate.. You answered your own question at the end of your statement.

quokka's picture
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quokka commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 12:12pm

@blindboy not sure the SW WA locals are that happy mate.

wbat's picture
wbat's picture
wbat commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 5:04pm

In another conversation I heard today it was suggested that in NZ if they have problems with a dangerous shark they put a marksman in a chopper and shoot it. Don't know if this is true but in the instance of yesterday I would have no problem with it.

I am confident the shark was spotted after the attack from a chopper. Remove the active and imminent threat.

What do you people think.

Legrope's picture
Legrope's picture
Legrope commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 5:35pm

Remove the whale to offshore. Simple. A short term cull would also be handy. I'm in a boat twice a week off Rotto for the last 4 years and working cray boats north of Perth for many years prior. Still yet to see a big white up close. It's whales they're mainly after. Alive calves and dead carcasses. Most carcasses have some pretty serious bites out of them if you've seen up close when one washes ashore.

AndoMc's picture
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AndoMc commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 6:54pm

Common sense really, isn't it?

saltyone's picture
saltyone's picture
saltyone commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 11:04pm

AndoMc so refreshing to see this comment. Yes totally agree it is absolutely common sense!! I am astounded at the level of ignorance that gets around on this topic really. People really do drive me nuts.

saltyone's picture
saltyone's picture
saltyone commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 11:09pm

I dont agree with a cull though. But how far things get taken outta proportion when it is blatantly obvious- dead whale carcass-- of course there are gonna be sharks after it. And if you go in the water during that you are taking massive risks. plain and simple

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 5:27pm

BB, read savanova's message again. I'm getting a very different message from it. Wbat has picked it up. :-)

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 5:39pm

Yeh could have taken it the wrong way! Ah the internet where meaning gets so easily lost.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 5:32pm

Ahh...yeah, I think he doesn't like crowds. Good tactic me thinks. Maybe I can buy an inflatable shark and stick it in the line up in Bali. Sounds like it will get rid of the Brazilians quick smart.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 5:41pm

Correct me if i'm wrong but i thought the WSL were using shark shields on the jet skis......maybe after jefferies last year they realised they dont make any difference.Anyone know? could be why they had 7 skis going.

simba

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 5:51pm

Last year but not this year
Sharkshield are now Ocean Guardian ?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 5:57pm

The WSL used Shark Shield this year but didn't call on their services this year. Not sure why.

Yeah Udo, company name change, but the products - i.e Shark Shield - stay the same.

Ant agonist's picture
Ant agonist's picture
Ant agonist commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 5:58pm

@quokka
what is a cuzzy bro seal.?
I guess it is a NZ variety invading oz shores?
In sharky waters in NZ a healthy seal population I would theorise is good for surfers as the sharks have access to their favourite meal, not bony fatless humans.

wbat's picture
wbat's picture
wbat commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 7:09pm

"Fatless Humans" I must be a seal!!!!

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 12:54pm

Yep that's them Ant...farkin everyhwere at the back of Sth Point & Cape Naturaliste. Have started coming into Bunkers.
They also own the West End of Rotto.
The problem is when the two are present at the same time, i.e. seals & surfers, sharks probably just go whatever they come across.
Can't recall sharks being an issue when these shitty things (& whales) weren't around in abundance, has only occurred since they were protected. Neve rused to see seals 20 years ago. We have licences to shoot roos, foxes and rabbits to control their numbers, why not seals? It could create an industry if managed properly.

BTW the macho stance some people trott out is getting tired. The risk has significantly increased and if you say it hasn't then you have your head up your arse. I would like to see how tough they would be with a 3m+ GWS motoring at them.

Snuffy Smith's picture
Snuffy Smith's picture
Snuffy Smith commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 6:13pm

Ha W.A is cooked crowd wise these days I feel for you guys anything negative is positive? Unless your gig is tied up pandering to the masses I suppose.

Balls of fire

wbat's picture
wbat's picture
wbat commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 7:32pm

Interesting that the commentators have stopped saying lines like "fantastic uncrowded waves", now it just "fantastic waves".

tomdo's picture
tomdo's picture
tomdo commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 10:22am

Yep. And we’ve got a tourism lobby charged with taking up much of the mining boom slack with surfing high on their agenda. Now non surfers are falling over themselves to sell out surfing. It’s diabolical. Watch the cull begin not because some poor guys got mauled but because some trashy tourist operator’s revenue drops 6.2%.

Thank you for not surfing.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 6:44pm

going to be a big call for wsl when and if to run,maybe they will take a vote with the contestants left......have to think that it is the worst advertising for wa tourism ever and maybe not continue next year.........so where to now wsl.

simba

wbat's picture
wbat's picture
wbat commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 7:21pm

There is so much industry down here that relies on the ocean persona and that translates to people paying off homes, crew getting work etc etc. This is where the consequences of these attacks have far reaching effects.

MidWestMonger's picture
MidWestMonger's picture
MidWestMonger commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 9:45pm

Nah mate, the show will go on, shark interaction is a part of this oceanic pursuit. Next swell with offshores the reefs will be surfed, sorry but it's happened before and you can only look at it for so long before you go f the sharks I'm in. If the brazos aren't keen they know where the airport is. Personally if a pro at at comp sponsored by some cola drink said 'I would never drink that shit' I would think that unprofessional. Better off saying nothing

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 7:15pm

Doubt they will renege on next years deal........

But as to extending past 2019, you would have to wonder.

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 7:35pm

It won't be the greatest testimonial for the electronic shark mitigation systems they currently use if they don't have any confidence in running the event given the current situation.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 7:56pm

Forecast looks shite , they might be tempted to pull the pin and write the whole thing off.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 8:05pm

Sounds exteme but I reckon it's an option that's been floated.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 8:09pm

Yep get out of jail free card.

wbat's picture
wbat's picture
wbat commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 8:55pm

Yes and their shark mitigation stuff will be hard to manage in onshore conditions particularly with a big swell.

I reckon it is likely.

prothero's picture
prothero's picture
prothero commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 8:05pm

cull the sharks,,,thats easily done, but only a 'Moron' would advocate that ......Instead how about some other 'Moron' invent a shark detergent that really works and really put WA on the map.......or the government subsidise shark shields so they are affordable.

Prothero

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 8:30pm

oh but what about those bullshit magnets that various people including pros and former pros flogged for a few coin. all their claims about tech blah blah blah. jeez i hate a scam

knB

Montygoesbananas's picture
Montygoesbananas's picture
Montygoesbananas commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 8:24pm

Was I the only one that they thought they saw a shark in the wave during the JJF heat? I haven’t bothered to post anything but now with yesterday’s events makes you wonder. If you look at round 1 heat 4 on the WSL site, definitely looks like a shark swimming through the wave at the 8 minute 11 seconds to go on the heat. There are 3 shows of the wave and the third replay is the one that seems to show it most clearly. No one commented on it so thought I must have been seeing things, could have been seaweed or his shadow I guess.

Hadyn Vones's picture
Hadyn Vones's picture
Hadyn Vones commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 8:35pm

A little perplexing the statements from @ferreiraitalo15 & @gabriel1medina 'I do not feel safe training and competing in this kind of place, anytime anything can happen to one of us.' Brazil has one of the highest murder rates in the world. I would take my chances with the sharks

Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 11:12pm

I hear ya HD, in 2016 Rio had over 5,000 murders, I wouldn't feel safe training and competing in that kind of place. We probably average one loss of life per annum by way of shark.

As for moving the comp to SA ... don't they have troubles moving the snapper comp to Dbah because it's in another state ?

I think they put in a trial new technology shark net in the sound a year or two ago, not sure how it turned out. And when they were doing the drumlines, the contractor in Perth that got the gig, got broken into at night and equipment was sabotaged/damaged.

southey's picture
southey's picture
southey commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 8:38pm

I vote to relocate the contest to the west coast of SA . It’ll be offshore during this next swell and the Brazilians havdvto Surf with bleeding salmon string along their leg ropes .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

MidWestMonger's picture
MidWestMonger's picture
MidWestMonger commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 10:09pm

South Aussies must be giggling at this hysteria. They accepted long ago the risks versus the reward and just get on with it. Due to tourism WA sponsorship I don't reckon west SA is possible but Crazies in Hopetoun is a close alternative.

prothero's picture
prothero's picture
prothero commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 8:49pm

free shark shields for the competitors
The guys at cobblestones and lefties new a shark was around, we go in water we know the risks,

Prothero

Nifty123's picture
Nifty123's picture
Nifty123 commented Tuesday, 17 Apr 2018 at 11:44pm

hi,
I am reading some great discussion on the shark issue in WA, and a solution needs to be found but at the moment I have to draw attention to the comment from whitebait this morning concerning JJ wave in round 1 at around the 25 minute mark. Check it out! All angles show a large shark/ dolphin shape heading straight for him. If WSL can’t confirm that this was a dolphin then the comp should be called ASAP... I recon.

Legrope's picture
Legrope's picture
Legrope commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 1:02am

Dolphin mate. They were hanging around all morning. Way more common sighting than sharks. The dolphin was going to drop in on JJF but would've copped an interference so pulled back!
Really if you take a dogs bowl of food away, they start looking for other food. Most animals do the same thing. Take a whale carcass away and now what are the curious hungry sharks going to do now. If they were able to get it off the beach successfully then they should have let them have it instead of taking it all the way to the boat ramp for removal with hungry sharks following, going WTF I need a feed as I haven't eaten in a week. Were there surfers at Southey's at the time? Were they warned that a giant shark lure was being trawled into the bay? Where's the thinking at?

Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy's picture
Jamyardy commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 1:48am

LG I doubt SP would have been breaking mate.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 6:40am

pretty sure fisheries did make sure no one was surfing as they towed that giant dinner bell behind them.

sunlover199's picture
sunlover199's picture
sunlover199 commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 10:25am

send the Brazilians out for the early morning heats, spike their wetsuits with fish oil
if i was a shark i would be tasting some of the women surfers, mmm yum
what if the women are bleeding with their monthly ?
send the comp to Sth Aust West Coast, i am sure the locals wont mind, hahahaha, they make the sharks look like boy scouts
see what happens to the Brazilians when they drop in at Cactus (Caves)

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 10:27am

The comp's off. But it seems like they're leaving the door open to return later this year - from the WSL press release:
"Our competitive structure allows for points distribution in the event of a cancellation. However, we are not giving up yet on somehow completing both men's and women's competition this year, and will communicate our thoughts on that when we know more."

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 10:38am

Stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Pretty ballsy decision though, even it does sign the death warrant for Margies as a CT event.

BaSz's picture
BaSz's picture
BaSz commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 12:52pm

Dragging the dead whale to the bay boatramp instead of letting it go would surely spark some serious protests from the shark huggers ?
I think the surfer who was the 2nd attacked at lefties had every right to go surfing. Its his choice, besides he was ok, just a little wound.
Hes actually a hero in my opinion. People dont stay out of the water just cos of a non fatal attack... never have and never will.
What difference does it make, its his own choice?

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 3:29pm

Might be his choice but it was a bad one and hes certainly no hero in my eyes. I don't think you understand how many people are affected by a serious shark attack and he was a bees dick away from one.

simba

quokka's picture
quokka's picture
quokka commented Wednesday, 18 Apr 2018 at 4:07pm

2nd that, no hero just a dickhead with a death wish.

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