Slater weighs into the shark debate as surfing row deepens

Anthony Pancia
Swellnet Dispatch

11-time World Champion Kelly Slater has warned about increased shark activity off WA's South West coast as the state's Tourism Minister took a swipe at the decision to abandon the rest of the Margaret River Pro.

The World Surf League yesterday decided to cancel the competition with five days remaining over fears about aggressive sharks in the area, after two recreational surfers were attacked near Gracetown on Monday.

Slater says the two WA shark attacks on Monday may be a precurser to a "larger issue". (WSL/Damien Poullenot)

The move has split the surfing community and prompted concerns about whether shark attacks are damaging WA's international reputation.

Speaking before the event was cancelled, Slater said he thought the competition should continue, before later throwing his support behind the WSL.

"I'll go with backing their decision," the 11-time world champion said.

"I can only speak for myself if I were there and I would choose to surf.

"But there were 100 whales washed up 20 minutes south of Margaret's just a month ago which I'm sure is gonna make surfing around there a bit sharkier in coming months and years.

"So maybe the two shark instances the other day were just a precursor to the larger issue they might experience in the west in the near future.

"I hope not but we'll see."

Almost 150 pilot whales died in March after a mass stranding at Hamelin Bay, about 35 kilometres south of Margaret River and 50km from Gracetown, with authorities issuing a shark advice alert for the area.

Slater points to world rankings

Slater also suggested there were differing opinions about why some competitors did not want to carry on at Margaret River.

"There are a few theories about who did and didn't want to surf and the larger effects on the [world] rankings," he said.

Gabriel Medina was one of those who spoke out against surfing at Margaret River. (WSL: Damien Poullenot)

"The most vocal against haven't had a great record at Margs so we can only be left to wonder if that played into the fear of surfing."

Former world champion Gabriel Medina and current WSL ratings leader Italo Ferreira took to social media with their safety concerns in the immediate aftermath of the attacks.

Medina later ramped up his comments, saying Margaret River was "not safe" and the most dangerous place to surf in the world before adding he was unlikely to return.

Surfers should surf: Minister

Tourism Minister Paul Papalia, who earlier backed the WSL's decision, has questioned how much it was influenced by the views of some surfers.

"They've effectively decided that some surfers can drive which events they hold or not," Mr Papalia said.

"That would be the equivalent of tennis players saying they're not going to play the Australian Open because the weather's too hot or something."

Mr Papalia said the WSL was putting its business in jeopardy by cancelling events because of shark incidents.

"I support the WSL … it was their decision to make, but I would just caution surfers, professional surfers, that their business is surfing," he said.

"If you then put at jeopardy your future business because of a view, a personal view about one particular site, as opposed to any other particular site, then you're putting at jeopardy your business."

//ANTHONY PANCIA
© Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Comments

lost's picture
lost's picture
lost commented Thursday, 19 Apr 2018 at 7:08pm

Wow that's surprising - slater quickly changing his tune to support the WSL - a company he has a stake in !

knB

Mathew Colivas's picture
Mathew Colivas's picture
Mathew Colivas commented Thursday, 19 Apr 2018 at 7:34pm

Minister Papalia is completely correct I mean what if some one got a burn when they fried that egg on centre court, compared to bleeding out cause your legs become some giant Noah's lunch!

Scoota

surfing with a spoon's picture
surfing with a spoon's picture
surfing with a spoon commented Thursday, 19 Apr 2018 at 7:54pm

2 Problems solved if Papalia was used as a drum line.

bjfitzhenry@gmail.com's picture
bjfitzhenry@gmail.com's picture
[email protected] commented Thursday, 19 Apr 2018 at 8:40pm

The Minister obviously doesn't surf himself. We struck a similar thing near Victor Harbour, where the council had removed the 2 day old shark warning signs on a pontoon in a nice bay, as it was bad for tourism....a local warned me after I swam in...two GWs had chased some kids onto the pontoon.
If you guys in WA for prevention, please don't spend $19m + proving the Qld system of drum lines and nets has meant only one attack in 53 years.....

Buzz_12's picture
Buzz_12's picture
Buzz_12 commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 9:52am

Haha! I can't remember if Paul surfs or not but probably not. He did however serve in the Navy as a Clearance Diver and knows a fair bit about the risks associated with getting in the water off the WA coast!!

curl's picture
curl's picture
curl commented Thursday, 19 Apr 2018 at 9:04pm

So if dangerous conditions are why they shutdown the event then they need to shutdown Brazil, Kidnaping and murders happens far more often there than shark incidents happen in Wa.

Curl

Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone's picture
Nick Bone commented Thursday, 19 Apr 2018 at 9:31pm

^^^^

I mean, if there gonna get eaten by a shark at margs, there gonna hit there head at chopes and pipe. Get mugged in brazil. A terrioist attack in France and succumb to cardiovascular disease at Bells.

PC world becomes more PC...

nicko74's picture
nicko74's picture
nicko74 commented Thursday, 19 Apr 2018 at 9:51pm

No great loss.. I for one would be happy not to see the circus return.

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Thursday, 19 Apr 2018 at 9:50pm

I for one would be happy to see Medina not come back to Oz. He can take his mate Italo with him. They would be the types on a soccer field would drop to the ground a cry injury if an opposition player got within cooee of them.

samasaurus's picture
samasaurus's picture
samasaurus commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 3:48am

“The Brazo shits himself when he sees a fucking pilchard'' Got to be the funniest description of Medina ever

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Thursday, 19 Apr 2018 at 9:50pm

I for one would be happy to see Medina not come back to Oz. He can take his mate Italo with him. They would be the types on a soccer field would drop to the ground a cry injury if an opposition player got within cooee of them.

nextswell's picture
nextswell's picture
nextswell commented Thursday, 19 Apr 2018 at 10:04pm

I’m a slater fan, the guys a freak but get the feeling he can’t stay away from the action. Always needs to stay relevant.

barley's picture
barley's picture
barley commented Thursday, 19 Apr 2018 at 10:08pm

Fuck the wsl..its going down faster than the titanic..bring back the super challenges..big money big surfers big surf rodeo style..let the brazillas have the indoor boring as batshit wavepool comps and the mad bastards have the north points chopez pipe and cloudbreak jbay hell tour..raddest dudes in the raddest waves..clearly not going to happen in the current format

sunlover199's picture
sunlover199's picture
sunlover199 commented Thursday, 19 Apr 2018 at 10:57pm

i agree with barley

Legrope's picture
Legrope's picture
Legrope commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 12:14am

That's it. I've had enough. I'm going to design an underwater sonar system built into the deck of a surfboard that can detect large objects underwater within a 200 mtr radius. The future is coming. Be ahead of the game. Surely we have the technology like Gabs Samsung surfboard.

SNBSROG's picture
SNBSROG's picture
SNBSROG commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 12:48am

those “saved” Hamelin bay whales probably re-beached themselfs along the same coast, resulting in the 2 attacks
well done human idiots for interviening as per usual

Ben Dover

wbat's picture
wbat's picture
wbat commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 6:33am

I was wondering are the dead whales still on the beach in Hamlin Bay?

Elliedog's picture
Elliedog's picture
Elliedog commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 6:35am

I was wonder why not use the dreaded drone and the dreaded jet ski for more shark surveillance?. Or.... put em to the test if they dont want to surf that’s a fair call but the ones who want to surf then fucking surf the comp!!!!. I’m sure the WSL have waivers in place????

Luba

dastasha's picture
dastasha's picture
dastasha commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 7:34am

Its a bit like the old "when the only tool you've got is a hammer every problem starts to look like a nail"... that goes for throwing money at the issue, making apps to solve the problem etc...
I think the fake eyes in the other thread is the most rational idea I've heard.
I'm pretty sure the experts on sharks are fishermen.

saffa's picture
saffa's picture
saffa commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 7:40am

What if Medina wins the 2018 title having dodged Marg's? That will create some debate!!!

regydogy's picture
regydogy's picture
regydogy commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 8:32am

this is all bullshit . i dont care , long live the sharks

GP's picture
GP's picture
GP commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 8:34am

Check out a letter to the editor in The West Australian today saying the newspaper is wrong to claim shark number off WA are double those of the east coast.

The CSIRO says the newspaper's claim is a "serious misinterpretation of its report on shark numbers.

"The West Australian's comment in the same editorial that, "there are more dangerous sharks out there than ever before" is not sustained in the CSIRO report, and is hardly helpful in terms of our ailing tourist industry."

CSIRO shark expert Hugh Edwards says shark numbers have essentially been flat with no evidence of a sustained increase.

palmyates's picture
palmyates's picture
palmyates commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 11:16am

I say we rename the Margret River to "Shark Aware Pro," and invite the worlds best spear fishermen a week earlier. Tickety boo. Anyhow, they should just hold the ladies after reading this...https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/amp.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/...

gcart's picture
gcart's picture
gcart commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 9:55am

An interesting dynamic . These shark attacks provide the perfect excuse for a cancellation.There's been no surf for 4 days , followed by what's likely to be a north westerly blow on the weekend. It was going to be ugly , one way or another.

Hadyn Vones's picture
Hadyn Vones's picture
Hadyn Vones commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 5:37pm

100% agree. It is nearly unsurfable conditions this weekend. I think this was a factor in cancelling the event.

prothero's picture
prothero's picture
prothero commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 10:22pm

agree

Prothero

prothero's picture
prothero's picture
prothero commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 10:26pm

yep WSL were thinking, sharks, un happy Brazilians and the weather was a convenient out

Prothero

prothero's picture
prothero's picture
prothero commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 10:28pm

yep, sharks, unhappy Brazilians weather is an easy out

Prothero

Agitator's picture
Agitator's picture
Agitator commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 10:09am

I would be more than happy to see the whole professional surfing scene implode into a black hole and fuck right off completely!!!!

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 10:31am

With all due respect to his surfing ,,,who really gives a shit about Slaters "opinions" on everything?

OHV500's picture
OHV500's picture
OHV500 commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 10:41am

here here - totally agree !!

nathan666's picture
nathan666's picture
nathan666 commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 11:08am

Fair call.. But I for one, do care.. He has been part of surfing and closely associated with the world tour for longer then majority of the people involved with it now. He has seen the sport change over the past what, 30 years? I'd say his opinions are pretty valid and well recognised by many... But hey, isn't that just my opinion too?

Älskarhavet's picture
Älskarhavet's picture
Älskarhavet commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 8:16am

I agree with nathan. I'd listen to Slaters opinion before Medina's and Ferreira's.

Älskarhavet's picture
Älskarhavet's picture
Älskarhavet commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 8:16am

I agree with nathan. I'd listen to Slaters opinion before Medina's and Ferreira's.

Älskarhavet's picture
Älskarhavet's picture
Älskarhavet commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 8:16am

I agree with nathan. I'd listen to Slaters opinion before Medina's and Ferreira's.

Älskarhavet's picture
Älskarhavet's picture
Älskarhavet commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 8:20am

Hmm, making a comment, that captcha thing gives it a delay which makes it look like nothing is happening. Sorry for the mulitiple comments.

wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson's picture
wax-on-danielson commented Sunday, 22 Apr 2018 at 7:51pm

Slater is god, John John is the son and Andy is the Holy Spirit. Why wouldn’t you listen to god?

tomdo's picture
tomdo's picture
tomdo commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 12:10pm

I'm not convinced we have exhausted the possibilities for a non-violent technological solution to the shark problem. Not even close. Pour enough money into it and we will find a solution.

For the benefit of all surfers, ocean goers and tourist operators, Minister Papalia and Surfing WA should redirect next year’s Pro sponsorship into the development of shark deterrents in the south-west.

The research could be based at Margs’ struggling Curtain University campus with the technology then sold to the world. Everyone wins.

Throwing money at tourism generating events like the Pro is the dumb way out of Barnett’s bust, unless you think yet more leaf blowing/window cleaning/barista jobs are a good thing.

Thank you for not surfing.

ron's picture
ron's picture
ron commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 2:23pm

The new LED in bottom of board detterent is getting a bit of traction at the moment. They are claiming 100% effectiveness on great whites. Anyone looked into it?

ron's picture
ron's picture
ron commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 2:23pm

The new LED in bottom of board detterent is getting a bit of traction at the moment. They are claiming 100% effectiveness on great whites. Anyone looked into it?

philosurphizingkerching's picture
philosurphizingkerching's picture
philosurphizing... commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 3:59pm

Yes.
The LEDs flash at a frequency that causes the shark to have an epileptic fit.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 2:33pm

"Pour enough money into it and we will find a solution."

Disagree with you there Tomdo.
Whilst I agree in principle to a non-violent solution to creating a safe environment for water users, I'm not sold that we have the technology or know how.
The GWS is essentially unchanged in 6 million years. No other species of that size or with the same requirements to exist has stayed the same. Everything else has evolved to survive. Natural selection. Not the GWS, it hasn't needed to.
I have a freediver friend and oceanographer who does a lot of underwater camera work for Discovery channel, documentaries etc. He has a story where he was out touring a visiting overseas documentary crew to an underwater pinnacle which has abundant sea life. They were floating about halfway between the pinnacle and the surface looking down on schools of hammerheads circling the pinnacle and all the other fish schools etc. Perfect clear water, maximum visibility, 3 groups of 3, each with cameramen, dive buddie and spotter. 9 sets of eyes for 360deg vision for over 40 metres. In front of everyone, out of nowhere appears a GWS 10 metres away. It spooked everyone, total ninja style, and then just disappeared into nothing.
When they surfaced, chatting on the boat, they said with over 150 years underwater experience across 9 people, no one saw it come or go.
To think that a few $$ will find an answer to suit us is a bit wishful thinking I reckon.

prothero's picture
prothero's picture
prothero commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 10:30pm

good idea tomdo

Prothero

Clam's picture
Clam's picture
Clam commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 3:08pm

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bhsn8dLnnwg/

Da hui 808 calling out the brazilians for shutting the contest down .
Funny how they aren't blaming the shark attack victims like a large portion of WA surfers are

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 4:30pm

I think you'll find that most WA surfers are maybe blaming the government for doing sweet F A about the situation in recent times.
Yes 2nd bloke should have known better.

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 5:45pm

WA surfers are an embarrassment seriously, upset about tourists not coming like it is great people clogging up the breaks the WSL can just fu(k off and shut down some one else's break's, WA guys have gone soft squealing how the government have to do something FFS none of them use a deterrent.

The guys knew there was a shark OK maybe they didn't know about the whale but the water is full of salmon so they rolled the dice and got bitten that's life celebrate the story give the bloke who stayed a fu(king great medal what a human.
2nd bloke goes beauty empty Lefties steps over the dead whale and paddles out. With a dead whale the whites are going to act like meth heads 2nd bloke will never be as lucky again.

During the period whales were getting hammered and salmon overfished seals a long way from recovery and sharks were all but wiped out by cray boats and the like too many took up surfing in the west instead of taking up ballet lessons.

Looking forward to the lower numbers in the water.

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 6:48pm

Deterrents? 3 x AAA batteries to stop a great white coming in at full charge? haha
I think it's been just pure luck no one has been taken wearing a sshield or repella unit at this point in time.
What deterrent devices do you use Ifocus when surfing margs area?
I don't think anyone has gone soft, just the next step is do it yourself approach if no one else will.

I focus's picture
I focus's picture
I focus commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 7:57pm

Your opinion on deterrents is one of the problems and maybe more needs to be done on letting people know about the testing hows and whys also along with the lack of understanding to do with the behavior of whites particularly the period before an attack and the differences in behavior in adults the adolescence's.

You are right about the 4mtr whites its the juveniles that eat fish up to around 3 mts but salmon fishermen bleeding fish on the beach change the risk to us like what happen at Mandurah.

I do think WA surfers are soft the guys in SA see far more whites over the long term and don't winge.

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 6:51pm

4m whites I doubt are eating salmon, seen plenty of salmon schools this year from a high vantage point and not one shark in amongst them, all the fisho's drone shots on the salmon pages also no whites, just odd bronzie cruising at the back.
The whites are eating seals and dolphins, surfers next best thing

ChrisMac's picture
ChrisMac's picture
ChrisMac commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 5:44pm

Will J Bay be next?
The trouble with cancelling this (or any event) based on feedback from the competitors id=s that they are going to say whatever to get an advantage fir themselves.
It worries me that the courage it takes to surf some breaks will be diminished to the point that all the events will be at "ranches" that provide predictable "safe" waves. Then our sport becomes a form of choreographed gymnastics that pays homage to the corporate masters that own the wave parks (glad I got that off my chest).
No doubt skill levels have risen but lets not remove the unpredictability that only nature can provide and one of them is the courage to go out when its big and scary - and no doubt Margys can be big and scary.

Quint's picture
Quint's picture
Quint commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 6:40pm

Well Vic Hislop tried to warn us surfers in his excellent book "Shark Man" before political correctness took over common sense a few decades ago. Too late now. Deaf ears all round.

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/man-dies-after-being-bitte...

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 12:23pm

Vic Hislop was the worst of the cowboy rednecks. He came down to Phillip Island for personal glory and bagged a 50 year old giant white shark which hadn't chomped anyone and the surfers weren't complaining. Then he stuck it in a truck and took it on a roadshow as a circus act. He was then chased out of Victoria never to return. Quint, the guy is a jerk.

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Friday, 20 Apr 2018 at 7:34pm

If Slater wants to talk about surfing I'll listen myself. As for making anything out of Italos' and Medinas' objections , it is purely speculative. And when he starts making predictions about whale and shark behaviour in WA, "in coming months and years" then I,m tuning out. There's enough "experts" out there already , and his opinion on those matters concern me not.

eat-your-vegies's picture
eat-your-vegies's picture
eat-your-vegies commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 9:24am

Paul papalia
I didnt see you paddle out after alex and dave longrass got bitten
Fuck off

Ive edited the last 2 words off this post

Quint's picture
Quint's picture
Quint commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 5:44am

Ease up vegies. Folks are entitled to their opinion whether we like it or not brah. Feudalism is for fools I will say it again. Lets try not to be divided.

Peace.

eat-your-vegies's picture
eat-your-vegies's picture
eat-your-vegies commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 8:04am

If you surf i will listen to your opinion on this.

If you will never paddle across a deep water channel to wait somtimes hours for a wave after 2 shark attacks and dead whales around , only to sit in your air conditioned perth office and tell someone else that they should, is offensive.

Its like a dangerous safety concern in your work place and being told "your a worker , you should just work" by a govt minister with a vested intrest in the out come.
My words in the last post were harsh and said in anger. Maybe paul you should just consider your job future

Älskarhavet's picture
Älskarhavet's picture
Älskarhavet commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 8:47am

Fair call, I've had a job with a similar scenario. Dangerous but just do your job.
However, IF the competition continued, no one is forced to paddle out.

They won't be fired, it's not like a normal job!

There were plenty who were willing to continue, including Slater (prior to WSL's decision)

Timm-Dah's picture
Timm-Dah's picture
Timm-Dah commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 10:36am

Surfing a dangerous sport...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ts0o8byrEfU

The WSL & its sponsorship division has an image problem... With an apex predator, that's no good for business.

They want the dollars from WA, & 'surf tourism' is well on the rise, despite desperate locals looking to hide their break...whilst telling everyone how good the waves are they ride compared to other popularised well-known breaks.

No use blaming the Sharks. They been here 700,000 years, give or take...but all of a sudden, they're a 'problem' for the 'industry'...whom champions it's great connection with nature via surfing.

..Until Mother Nature gets ugly...& the cameras get turned off.

That said, I would never want to watch ANY surfer get intentionally harmed whilst we all watch live.

It was hard enough seeing the ledge incident (above) play out in the women's competition.

Hrmmm...

Tough issue. Not gonna be easily resolved...& it's gonna get ugly. Unless one of the two apex predators leaves the water.

T-D

Never a dull day on the waves…but as far as other things go…well, let me tell you.

BaSz's picture
BaSz's picture
BaSz commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 11:14am

In SA sharks are a billion dollar tourism industry but in WA they arent seen that way .
The attitudes are very different , yet in SA the sharks are fed by law a 100kg quota of berley per day .
Maybe in WA they should start cage diving operations too ?
There maybe borders for humans but there arent for sharks.
Where in WA would be the place to start this billion dollar tourism industry ?

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 12:06pm

Posted this in the other thread but very relevant to your comment BaSz - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-21/crocodile-teasing-stunt-videos-cau...
If feeding and encouraging crocs in the north of WA ($200K fine), NT and Qld is discouraged and poor form, so what is any different to feeding GW's in the south, shouldn't this be banned also?

BaSz's picture
BaSz's picture
BaSz commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 11:37am

'One of the architects of professional surfing has branded as “nonsense” and “crazy” claims by the State Government that this week’s shark attacks in Margaret River will not affect tourism.
Ian “Kanga” Cairns, who is from Perth and played a key role in the establishment of the surfing world tour in the 1970s, yesterday hit out at the decision by the sport’s governing body to cancel the Margaret River Pro, citing concerns about sharks.
Mr Cairns said that with crucial championship tour points on the line, many surfers would have wanted to compete and the World Surf League’s decision was a knee-jerk reaction.
And the 65-year-old accused Tourism Minister Paul Papalia of being in denial if he thought the cancellation would not hurt WA’s image as a tourist destination.
He said the lure of surfing had always played a vital role in the attractiveness of Margaret River to visitors and that was now in peril because of the “shark problem”.
“Clearly there has been an escalation of this problem for the last 15 years,” Mr Cairns said. “There is an issue that needs addressing and to say that it won’t impact tourism for the area is nonsense.
“For WA to become known as white shark central, why don’t they just ask the tourism operators in Reunion Island about Reunion Island being known as bull shark capital of the world and how successful their tourism economy is.
“It’s non-existent.”
Clever Buoys, which have been tested at City Beach, use sonar and satellite-linked receivers to send alerts to authorities and mobile phones when sharks are detected in the water.
Mr Papalia yesterday maintained the cancellation of the Margaret River Pro because of fears about sharks would not have any effect on the number of visitors to WA. He insisted the vast majority of people who came to WA would not be deterred by the threat of sharks, arguing few visitors engaged in risky activities such as surfing or diving.
He also sought to play down the decision by the WSF to cancel the Pro event, saying it would have “no real impact on tourism”.
“There’s no evidence anywhere that these sorts of incidents or some of the more horrific incidents that have occurred have any impact on tourism,” Mr Papalia said.
Opposition Leader Mike Nahan has called on the Government to roll out smart drum lines that allow sharks to be tagged and released.
Australian Hotels Association chief Bradley Woods said the State’s shark mitigation strategy was not working and there would obviously be flow-on effects for tourism, though he suggested they would be hard to quantify.
Mr Woods urged the State and Federal governments to “get their heads together” and work out a more effective response to the threat of sharks, including the investigation of new technologies.'

https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/sharks/ian-kanga-cairns-blasts-decision...

CryptoKnight's picture
CryptoKnight's picture
CryptoKnight commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 1:24pm

That WSL vid is classic! WSL rules! Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!!!

‘Best water patrol in the business’

Good grief, that ski driver didn’t even realise that rock was there, and it was panic time, and pure luck they both weren’t smashed.

She was already in the channel and water going down the point. Like watching yet another lennox, caves, kbay cinematic, coliseum battering.

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!

BaSz's picture
BaSz's picture
BaSz commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 4:51pm

Uncle leroy yes thats completely bollocks, its an interesting article though. If only they did really care about these wild animals and the effects from human interference that shark cage operations are doing. so double standard !

'He said it is not only dangerous to poke or feed a crocodile, but can teach them bad habits that increases the risk of attack for other boaters in the area.
"We are seeing an increase in interactions with crocodiles, whether that is feeding them, encouraging them to the back of boats in other ways, or harassing animals," Mr Stevens said.
"That kind of thing actually changes the behaviour of the animals, because it encourages them to come to other boats which may not be expecting to see them, and makes them behave more aggressively to people who arrive in the area later and would not be expecting it.
"I can see the thrill in it, it is not a smart thing to do and it is not responsible to other people."

Tougher laws
While fatal crocodile attacks are not unusual in the Northern Territory, there has not been a death in WA for more than 30 years.
But with the number of crocodiles, tourists and boats on the rise in the north of WA, the Parks and Wildlife Service says the risk of attack is increasing.
The WA Government is in the process of overhauling the wildlife laws, with regulations coming into effect later this year increasing the powers of prosecution and the penalties for interfering with animals like crocodiles.
Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said the maximum penalty will increase to $200,000.

"At the moment it is quite a convoluted process if we find someone who is feeding or teasing a crocodile, so what we have done with the new Conservation and Biodiversity Act is we have made it very clear that it is not appropriate," he said.

Some local fisherman, who did not want to be named, have dismissed the need for further regulation, describing coverage of the crocodile risk as "government propaganda".

They argue feeding crocodiles does not increase the risk of attack significantly and the onus should be on boaters to take responsibility for their own safety.

That is something Minister Stephen Dawson rejects.
"These are specially protected animals, they are dangerous and people should not feed them or play with them," he said.
"The worst case scenario is that people could lose their leg or their lives, quite simply."

Sacred significance
Aboriginal rangers are also urging people to leave the growing number of crocodiles alone, saying its creating behaviours that will result in more animals having to be trapped or killed.
Dambimangari ranger Adrian Lane, who helps patrol a vast area of coastline in the West Kimberley, said the last thing they want is to have to destroy the animals.
"They have important animals and they have always had this affiliation with us because they have been drawn in our rock art all through the Kimberley coast from the north to the south," he said.
"When you start educating the animal to do this, all this feeding and throwing rocks and stuff, you take away their natural instincts … that will create problems."

MidWestMonger's picture
MidWestMonger's picture
MidWestMonger commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 5:04pm
BaSz's picture
BaSz's picture
BaSz commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 6:35pm

'Tourism Minister Paul Papalia was keen to laud the benefits of the international exposure from tennis champion Roger Federer's quokka selfie earlier this year, trumpeting it as an all-time marketing coup.
In a January press release headlined "Federer quokka shot smashes WA tourism into global advantage," Mr Papalia boasted that more than half a billion people in 45 countries had seen the quokka selfie through global online news.'

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-21/shark-attacks-near-margaret-river-...

John Eyre's picture
John Eyre's picture
John Eyre commented Saturday, 21 Apr 2018 at 10:24pm

Its The victims fault......!

'The fallout from the wipeout has been typically frenzied, with more pointless debate about shark mitigation strategies and tourism.
The Pro, which attracts tens of thousands of spectators and millions more on TVs around the world, is sponsored by the state government as a way of promoting WA's beaches and attracting tourists.

It's fair to presume that had Jason Longrass not surfed and been bitten at Lefthanders once it was closed due to shark activity, the Pro would still be a go. His idiocy was the catalyst for the cancellation, and is responsible for a gross waste of government resources and jeopardising the future of the event.
We'd be watching the world's best surfers tackle one of the southern hemisphere's heaviest breaks with the beautiful surrounds of the South West as the backdrop.
The same goes for Monday's first shark victim Alejandro Travaglini, who inexplicably re-entered the water just before his attack at Lefthanders ... after exiting an hour earlier because of a massive shark sighting at the break.

Any money raised at his fundraiser tonight in Margaret River should go towards rewiring his brain, not repairing his wounds. What was the guy thinking?

And what was the WSL thinking by allowing two of the Pro's biggest drawcards to hang shit on Margaret River to millions on social media?

Brazilians Italo Ferreira - the current WSL championship leader - and Gabriele Medina, the 2014 world champion, both showed enourmous disrespect and naivety by airing their comments online.
Medina should remember Mick Fanning before putting one of WA's most important international events at risk through his misguided comments.
Fanning was forced to survive an attack by repeatedly punching a shark before swimming to safety at J-Bay ... then 12 months later faced his fears head-on by competing at the same event.

Medina, who has a very limp record at the Pro, later ramped up his comments, saying Margaret River was "not safe" and the most dangerous place to surf in the world, before adding he was unlikely to return.

Please don't mate ... I think the locals might now have it in for you.

And we need to stop going on about shark mitigation policies.
There are certain things in nature we cannot control - shark activity is one - and another policy will not help secure the future of the Pro, or the fortunes of tourism in WA, nearly anywhere as much as an unreserved apology by the Brazilian nuts.
Google 'Margaret River Pro Medina' to see what we mean.

And the Liberals, who twiddled and tweaked their shark mitigation strategy to zero effect while in government, should know better than to prey on public fear and ramp up demands for Labor to now implement one, too.
The WSL - like Medina and Ferreira - need to grow a pair. It's the reckless comments from two of their event's main competitors that has put the future of the Pro in limbo and wrongly stained the west's reputation as a safe destination.

At the least, the WSL should ensure next year more than three surf breaks are approved for use; Main Break, The Box and North Point are too close in proximity if shark activity occurs near one break.
They should also have made Wednesday a lay day and given everyone - competitors, organisers, stakeholders - a moment to breathe and assess the shark activity and situation.
It's highly likely that with poor conditions forecast for the rest of the week, and with the drama of two shark attacks leaving some competitors uneasy, the WSL took the easy road to pull out and move on.
Water Patrol Australia had nine jet skis, a chopper and a drone ready to go when the Pro was expected to resume on Wednesday at 10.30am ... yet Medina and Ferreira were already spooked and had made their feelings widely known.

How about next year we bring a naming rights sponsor for the event? We could call it the Shark Shield Margaret River Pro.

http://www.watoday.com.au/comment/funky-cold-medina-surfers-wipe-out-on-...

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Sunday, 22 Apr 2018 at 10:28am

heir heir. Nailed it J.E

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Sunday, 22 Apr 2018 at 8:24am

I know this is a broken fuckiing record but there is a Shark mitigation activity which seems to both modify shark behaviour, offer valuable data and does not involve any by catch or harm to the sharks.

It's called a fcuking smart drum line.

It's an easy and obvious solution. Even if only deployed on a short term basis and in a limited area.

We now know that the most dangerous times to be attacked by white sharks are clear water, small/medium swell and sunshine. Blue bird days when the surf is good are the most dangerous times.
White sharks give zero fucks about swimming in shallow clear water on sunny days, contrary to the official shark advice and constant blathering about education being a tool to reduce encounters/attacks. Well, that clearly works about as well as tits on a bull.

And victim blaming by suggesting no one should be in the water when white sharks are around makes me nauseous.
Look at the Dorsal sightings........no one should have been in the water all week by that logic!

Stick a few smart drums out the back . You'll soon know how many whites are around and any white that has been writhing around with a 12/0 circle hook in it's gob then manhandled, tagged and towed offshore is likely to be a bit more wary next time it approaches shallow water.
It's not perfect but as far as reducing risk goes and being an acceptable compromise to the general public goes it's about the best option we've got.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 1:40pm

I vote for freeride76 for minister for environment!
Well said bro !

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Sunday, 22 Apr 2018 at 9:02am

Exactly.

simba

Ol' 54's picture
Ol' 54's picture
Ol' 54 commented Sunday, 22 Apr 2018 at 10:11pm

There's talk that the state government is not seeking tenders to renew the smart drum line program in Ballina and as from June 1st all the smart drum lines will be removed. Govt seems to think that drones at patrolled beaches on weekends is all that is needed up here. I think the local member needs reminding who voted her in.

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Sunday, 22 Apr 2018 at 11:27pm

McGowan on the news tonight, won’t be doing anything and bad luck if you get attacked. Bloke is about as useful as a wet towel.

prothero's picture
prothero's picture
prothero commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 8:53am

You may not like what McGowan had to say , but he did say the two guys knew of the sharks in the water and they should not have gone out, he also said surfers have to take some responsibility for their action. How true. You can say someones got to fix the problem or kill all the big fish or take some responsibility yourself. I don't do the solo dawn patrols anymore and some places I surf, sharks are constantly in my mind, which makes for some discomfort.

Prothero

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 9:54am

It's also what he is NOT doing, and by he, all the people that work under him.
GW's 20m off the beach and no one from government could be bothered putting any warning signs up.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 2:20pm

The fellow who posted this is a total legend. Clear, well put together, shows his point by showing the GWS in the shorebreak (!) and reminds the authorities it's time to act.

& FR well said.

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 commented Wednesday, 25 Apr 2018 at 11:23am

Maybe its time to take some responsibility for your self and the rest of the nanny state mentality generation Uncle L? Instead of throwing around chicken little style hysteria and blame at anybody that will (or won't )listen to you for sharks being in the ocean and the unfortunate events that ironically have done a great job of shutting down the yearly margies moment wankfest (turing lemons into lemonade).
Take some time to access the dangers and if there is a whale carcass and salmon schools around the chance of sharks is pretty high, maybe give the surf for a bit a miss or go somewhere with less obvious risks. Buy a shark shield? Get some knee pads and a helmet and go rollerblading? Crying about it(again) on internet forums like a broken record doesn't seem to be helping your cause.

Sickaz's picture
Sickaz's picture
Sickaz commented Wednesday, 25 Apr 2018 at 8:19pm

"Access the dangers" I think tourism WA may have just found a new angle.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 1:19am

Gold Coast WSL tour start could easily run a welcome to country.(Must be over 12 years)
[Seaworld](Course 1)
Swim with Bull Whaler Sharks
Hand Feed Sea Lions
Stroke the Sting Rays
Surf a Pet Porpoise
Polar Bear feeding ! Once in a lifetime offer...(Optional)

[Currumbin Sanctuary](Course 2)
For Brazillains a swim alongside cute Capybara (World's biggest 70 kg Rodent)

Now on with the Oz show
Next we Feed (Boss Hog) a 5m salty
Box a Kangaroo
Walk the park Howling as Dingo pack leader
Face 2 Face with 'Goldy' Devils (Born & Bred Locally)
Cuddle an Echidna
Outrun rampaging 40km/hr Wombats by jumping 50 km/hr Emus.
Collar a Python
Tongue Kiss a Blue Tongue Lizard
Be shocked by Giant Eels
Hair Cuts by Gun Sheep Shearer
Giant Wedge Tail Eagle scalp massages
Hand feed snappin' Pelicans

Well Done! W.A. Passport Selfies with Currumbin Quokas (It's a thing!) (STAMPED)

WSL Divas all good as gold for OZ leg of Wacky Races...(No returns policy)

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Monday, 23 Apr 2018 at 2:21pm

they were all in love with dying
they were drinking from a fountain
that was pouring like an avalanche
coming down a mountain

Bourneagin's picture
Bourneagin's picture
Bourneagin commented Wednesday, 25 Apr 2018 at 8:39pm

Don't harm the poor old sharks , your more chance of getting a root from mid week ladies than being bitten by a shark . Those beautiful White sharks are far more friendly than the Blax shadow sharks .

I don't call it growing old , more like rapid cell deter..ia ... tion......................

CryptoKnight's picture
CryptoKnight's picture
CryptoKnight commented Wednesday, 25 Apr 2018 at 9:26pm

Oh dear, the broken little faker’s back! In a nutshell! Those ‘mid week ladies’ the broken, little swillnut faker wants to ‘root’, can spot a swillnutin’ bullshit artist a mile away! The hips don’t lie! The highchair, back brace and puny little glutes and quads will screech loser imposter loud and clear! Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!

Jeez ladies, dunno what ways up! Fark, dunno why I’m so farkin soft, corse normally I go too hard I do, aye, but!

Hahahahahahahahahaaaar!!!

‘Yeh, well I’ll get youse ya farkin...’

Never let the truth get in the way of a good story! In a nutshell!

Shelds's picture
Shelds's picture
Shelds commented Thursday, 26 Apr 2018 at 11:33am

Don't you think it's just a bit weird that Fanning, the sharkman himself, chose to not end his career at Margarets? He must have known!!

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