How to prevent shark attacks

Stu Nettle
Surfpolitik

This article first appeared in The Conversation.

In light of the most recent shark bite fatality in Western Australia last week, there have been renewed calls for a cull of large sharks to protect ocean users. Environment minister Greg Hunt has said he wants to reduce the risk of attacks. So what is the best way to reduce that risk?

800px-white_shark.jpgAre shark bites increasing?

There is no denying that each of these events is a tragedy and our sympathy is, of course, with the family and friends of the victims. However, based on statistical data, the number of shark related fatalities is negligible when you consider the vast and increasing number of swimmers entering our coastal waters every year.

Research has shown the number of shark bite incidents occurring each year appears to be directly related to the amount of time people spend in the sea. Given that Western Australia has the fastest population growth of any Australian state, there is likely to be an increasing number of people venturing out into our coastal waters every year. Thus, the likelihood of someone encountering a shark increases and with it a corresponding increase in shark bite incidents.

Politicians and the public are often quoted in the media saying shark numbers in WA have increased. But most experts would agree that there is no evidence to support such a statement.

Data gathered by Surf Life Savers WA has been used to suggest an increase in the number of sharks in WA, by stating that more sharks were sighted in 2012/13 (285 sharks) than in 2011/12 (247 sharks).

However, when you account for the number of hours that the helicopter patrols were out looking for sharks (2012/13: 751 hrs; 2011/12: 620 hrs) we find that they sighted the same number of sharks per hour of patrolling (approximately 1 shark every 2.5 hrs).

In fact, research shows that the number of attacks per million people in Australia almost halved from approximately 60 per million people between 1930/1939 to approximately 30 per million people between 2000/2009.

Does culling work?2420579965_ut_hkthath4eww8x4xmdoxojbro-i4w8_648x365_2420579339-hero.jpg

So often the argument in favour of a cull comes down to the emotional question of who is more important: a human or a shark. Rather, we need to ask the question, will culling sharks actually reduce the risk of an attack?

The answer is no. In fact, when shark culling was carried out in Hawaii, between 1959 to 1976, over 4,500 sharks were killed and yet there was no significant decrease in the number of shark bites recorded.

Culling has been the primary shark mitigation policy of the New South Wales Government for over 60 years, through the use of “shark” nets. But a report by the Department of Primary Industries showed that 24 of the 38 (63%) attacks in the state, between 1937 and 2008, occurred at netted beaches.

Pre-emptively killing sharks is a response based on emotion rather than of scientific data.

How to reduce personal risk

We take a calculated risk whenever we enter the ocean, but the risk is quite small when compared to other daily activities. For example, new research shows that rip currents are the cause of an average 21 confirmed human fatalities per year in Australia, compared with 7.5 for cyclones, 5.9 for bushfires, 4.3 for floods, and 1 for sharks.

With the correct information, we can make an objective judgement as to whether or not we accept the risk to enter the oceans.

The WA Department of Fisheries recently released a report on how to reduce your personal risk of being bitten by a shark (and you can find more information at the International Shark Attack File).

  1. Stay out of the water if sharks have been sighted in the area.
  2. Stay close to shore (within 30m of the water’s edge).
  3. Don’t go in the water alone (stay in groups).
  4. Avoid water temperatures lower than 22C.
  5. Avoid water depths of greater than 5m when swimming or surfing.
  6. Avoid swimming after heavy storms, or in low light conditions (dusk and dawn).
  7. Avoid swimming if there are seals, dolphins, whales or baitfish nearby.

What the government can do

The WA Government are in a difficult situation. They genuinely want to protect ocean users, but at the same time they are well aware there is no “magic bullet” to prevent shark attacks across the large expanse of the WA coastline.

Their investment in monitoring and research has been a very positive step towards reducing shark bite incidents in the region, but the use of lethal control measures and the threats of a major cull of sharks is not the answer.

Instead, we need to better understand exactly what causes sharks to bite people, what factors are responsible for them venturing closer to shore and more about their biology and life history. Recent research has found, for example, that sharks'diving behaviour is affected by temperature and the moon, that female white sharks have different movement patternsto males, and that Australian white sharks have home territories they always return to.

This kind of research helps us better understand where sharks will be and how they’re likely to behave. More of the same could help us develop strategies to coexist with these important apex predators and continue to enjoy the ocean safely.

The WA Government should also consider placing more emphasis on educating people about the risks, such as the times of day and conditions under which attacks are most likely to occur.

They could also put warning signs at beaches known to be frequented by “dangerous” sharks. We are unaware of a single beach in WA that has information boards related to the risks associated with encountering potentially dangerous sharks. This strategy is common practice in California and other places frequented by large sharks.

We will never completely prevent shark attacks, however, with better education and improved investment in monitoring and research we can reduce the risk and frequency of these tragic events. //RYAN KEMPSTER & SHAUN COLLIN

This article first appeared in The Conversation.

Comments

derra83's picture
derra83's picture
derra83 commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 9:18am

Point 2 "Stay close to shore (within 30m of the water’s edge)." How many waves break within 30m of shore?

No mention of Shark Shields or stripey wetsuits.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 9:46am

There's a few points that are hard to abide by when surfing - it's written for all ocean users after all. Reckon the thing to take from it is we're gonna surf in water greater than 5m depth, we're gonna surf more than 30m from shore, we're gonna surf alone at times, and probably at dawn and dusk too.

We know that those times pose the most risk so the onus of caution is upon us.

Blockdoc's picture
Blockdoc's picture
Blockdoc commented Sunday, 8 Dec 2013 at 3:54pm

White pointers are no longer endangered.
That's fisheries crap.
If that attach humans then destroy the the beast .
It would settle a lot peoples minds in knowing that it not leaking around.
I know that they can't always find the specific shark.
But that's not always the case.
People who done go in the water have no chance of being attack so the decision
Should be made by those that do frequent the ocean as we all have right to be there.
The oceans a big place and we know very little about it so don't believe everything the so called expert tell us.
I don't know about culling but destroying the culprits would be a lesser evil.
The ocean belongs to us all and like a dog that bits they should be put down.
p/s has anyone seen a great white attack a human ? The most horrific way to die I would think.

Blockdoc's picture
Blockdoc's picture
Blockdoc commented Sunday, 8 Dec 2013 at 3:54pm

White pointers are no longer endangered.
That's fisheries crap.
If that attach humans then destroy the the beast .
It would settle a lot peoples minds in knowing that it not leaking around.
I know that they can't always find the specific shark.
But that's not always the case.
People who done go in the water have no chance of being attack so the decision
Should be made by those that do frequent the ocean as we all have right to be there.
The oceans a big place and we know very little about it so don't believe everything the so called expert tell us.
I don't know about culling but destroying the culprits would be a lesser evil.
The ocean belongs to us all and like a dog that bits they should be put down.
p/s has anyone seen a great white attack a human ? The most horrific way to die I would think.

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 9:52am

This has been discussed many times in other forums but to mainstream news, despite the statistics, its big compared to floods, cyclones and bushfires as sharks generate real fear into the minds of 90% of people.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 10:13am

I reckon it's pertinent considering the change of heart happening in the WA surf community. Following the latest attack consensus is now moving toward a shark cull.

You're right that sharks generate real, primal fear, but the notion of shark culls also generates something: a feeling of control.

Rather than entering a chaotic, random lottery every time you hit the water, a shark cull allows humans to feel as if they have some sort of control over the situation. Unfortunately the research referred to in the article above shows that culls have had no effect. So they're a waste of life, and they also create a false sense of security.

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 10:19am

Temps no lower than 22 degrees?! Guess that rules surfing down here out of the question haha.

chico's picture
chico's picture
chico commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 11:15am

Wow. Some useful tips from the Department of Fisheries.... Stay out of the water if a shark has been sighted in the area - well there's been whites spotted at most SW beaches over the past fortnight, so much of the coast is off limits then?

I'm staying away from one particular beach where two people I know have seen a big white there in separate incidents recently, but really, there's sharks freaking everywhere down here.

As for the rest of the tips - the latest attack occurred in shallow water, close to the beach, on a sunny day when there were a lot of people in the water along that stretch of coast. So that would make the Department's advice pretty useless I reckon.

Anecdotal evidence from older surfers is that there a shitloads of whales swimming around these days. Every time you check the surf during spring you'll see humpbacks breaching close to shore. 15 years ago, apparently you'd be lucky to see a whale at all. More whales equals more predators.

We've got marine parks in place now, so of course there's gonna be more seals, dolphins and fish swimming around.

The ocean is healthy, but that means there's a lot more fish and sharks in the water.

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 11:24am

As suggested in prevoius forums though, we could attach sat transmitters. They are proving useful in the US and in S Africa. We could get a better understanding about behaviour and movements as well as a warning if they are getting close to popular beaches (again, proven in the US). If you were going to a remote beach, you could jump on an app to check. Sure, you can't tag every shark, but you have to start somewhere and it will remove the need to cull and educate us. For some reason Aust doesn't want to get involved or giving aproval for it to happen.

mickj's picture
mickj's picture
mickj commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 11:38am

Agree entirely Fitzroy, an action plan for me (here in WA) could include:

- Catch and tag as many GWs as possible
- Put a receiver buoy a kay or so off the coast of say the 40 most popular surfing beaches in WA (Perth metro inc Rottnest, Cape to Cape down south, Gero, Gnaraloo, maybe Denmark)
- and a solar powered beacon on shore (where mains power isn't available) that would emit a siren and/or flash once a tag pings the receiver out to sea
would cover 90% of the surfing population

Obviously won't tag every shark as you mentioned, so the risk won't ever be completely eliminated, but this:

- would inform the scientists, decision makers and beach users
- is relatively cheap to execute
- is non fatal
- and puts the govt on the front foot to a certain extent, instead of having to react to bad news once its already happened

I'm personally still an 'anti cull' guy but the tide of opinion amongst the guys n gals that surf daily is turning pretty rapidly here towards pro cull, and certainly the boys down south are rightfully upset right now (with near unanimous support to start fishing the big ones out of the water ...).

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 11:53am

Some great ideas there Mickj, the tagging and notification one is the first step to greater understanding of what's going on.

Surely local tourism funding could help in the investment of this, as it's just as important to them that the beaches are safe to swim at.

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 11:51am

We already take the risk everytime we go out, but with this technology and information it will allow YOU to make an informed decision as to whether you take the risk and go out, or go somewhere else.

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 12:02pm

It's THE ocean, not OUR ocean.

IMO - You go in the water, you're taking a conscious risk. Culling doesn't work. Policy- makers know this and should have the balls to say it, despite public sentiment. Public sentiment isn't always right and shouldn't be the sole basis for public policy.

Don't let the bastards grind you down

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 12:28pm

I suggest a pet Orca

An incident was documented on 4 October 1997, in the Farallon Islands off California in the United States. An estimated 4.7–5.3-metre (15–17 ft) female orca immobilized an estimated 3–4-metre (9.8–13 ft) great white shark.[56] The orca held the shark upside down to induce tonic immobility and kept the shark still for fifteen minutes, causing it to suffocate and then proceeded to eat the dead shark's liver.[45][56][57] It is believed that the scent of the slain shark's carcass caused all the great whites in the region to flee, forfeiting an opportunity for a great seasonal feed.[58] Another similar attack apparently occurred there in 2000, but its outcome is not clear.[59] After both attacks, the local population of about 100 great whites vanished.[57][59] Following the 2000 incident, a great white with a satellite tag was found to have immediately submerged to a depth of 500 m (1,600 ft) and swum to Hawaii.[59]
Wikipedia

.......or a bottle of distilled essence of dead great white.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 12:59pm

local cray fisherman on the vic border to robe coast see orcas reas regulary when attending there pots, never heard any stories of whites being seen by surfers or cray fisherman in that very cold stretch of water, and its very close to the cont shelf ?
further east port fairy ,warnambool have a few sightings I think.
EDIT; [probably should of said a few times per fishing season and not reas regulary]

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 12:50pm

Very close to the continental shelf, hence the freezing water in summer with the upwelling.

My roomate is from down there, and I've done a handful of trips and he says sharks are never sited. Makes you feel at ease sitting a few hundred metres offshore above dark limestone reef.

But Orcas being sighted, that would be incredible!

panaitan's picture
panaitan's picture
panaitan commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 1:04pm

Very few things wind me up more than pandering to completely irrational arguments like the call for a shark cull.

If human life is simply that precious then lets be consistent. This would mean banning anyone with a traffic offence from driving. Banning every car from travelling over 40km/h or travelling within 50m of another vehicle. Or how about an outright ban on smoking or eating anything other than unprocessed foods? All of these sources are responsible for thousands of more deaths per annum. While we are at it let ban dogs and swimming pools - because they kill more people than sharks.

Great whites are endangered, so that means there are insufficient numbers to ensure their long term survival. There is no evidence that this latest attack was a Great White. There is no evidence that a cull will do anything other than allow a front page tabloid picture of a dead shark.

The tabloids rejoice every time there is a shark attack because it increases their circulation. Why are some peoples thought processes so ignorant and distorted by what appears on the front page of a tabloid. Its in the same vain as people convincing themselves they are sick because of some mythical "infrasound" that comes from wind farms - just because the tabloids told them about it.

If you think a cull is what it needed, then you need to go back to school.

tonka's picture
tonka's picture
tonka commented Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 at 2:44pm

I heard that cows kill many times more people than sharks...

leckiep's picture
leckiep's picture
leckiep commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 1:08pm

Can anyone provide some evidence to support the claim that 'dusk and dawn' are the worst times? I know it's treated as if it's common knowledge but I've never seen it backed with any evidence.

brendo's picture
brendo's picture
brendo commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 2:42pm

smorgasboarder ran an article on this a while ago, and dusk and dawn has LESS attacks than the middle of the day, possibly because there are more people swimming in the middle of the day. So it doesn't really say much for staying out of the surf at dusk or dawn... who would anyway? If the surfs on you just go!
PS> The data I think was compiled from the Shark Attack File database/website

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 1:13pm

dusk and dawn applies to all sharks ,except white pointers, I cant recall the term. interesting species distribution map for orcas on the gov dept of environment site.

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 4:44pm

udo wrote: dusk and dawn applies to all sharks ,except white pointers, I cant recall the term. interesting species distribution map for orcas on the gov dept of environment site.

I think "opportunistic feeder" is the term you're looking for Udo... I also class myself in this category, although I'm more into cold pizza or jellybabies than seals or surfers.

Don't let the bastards grind you down

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Thursday, 10 Sep 2020 at 8:07pm

More about Low blinding Sun less about Dim light
Sharks being large need stealth.
They use the Low Sun behind them as they attack.

Some report of Shark's white underbelly being hidden by sun glare.
Only sharks don't attack from above?

OZ science proved the Glare Attack theory as being correct.
1. GWS can bob & sight low sun knowing surface prey are vulnerable.
2. Low sun lights up the prey better from beneath.
3. The vulnerable prey are blinded by looking into the Sun
4. Both by Under water Glare & Across the Surface Glare
5. A 2 tonne shark hiding as a Silver Shadow or Hairline width Fin.
6. Both Morning Mirror Glare & Arvo Wind Chop help Shark

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27049-great-white-sharks-attack-p...

Crew mentioned the Glare factor recently as well.
https://www.swellnet.com/news/swellnet-dispatch/2020/06/26/shark-lurks-b...

Sadly Drones are useless in low am/pm sun glare.
Also shit on Midday-pm Chop as (South Shadows grow)
Drone Flight Tip: Clockwise-East / Counter -South/West
These provide best glare free rotations for Shark Patrol.
Covers reduce already small pan area & Filters lose Sea depth.

blacksmith's picture
blacksmith's picture
blacksmith commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 2:00pm

Don't think whites are still endangered, take them off the list

wellymon's picture
wellymon's picture
wellymon commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 2:30pm

Good idea Fitz and Mickj about the tagging, it seems to be in other parts of the world, which I'm guessing the cost would be way less out of our pockets (tax payers money) than flying a helicopter for hours a day.?
Like you've said panaitan, more people die of bee stings per year, let alone smoking or maybe arguments on the internet from stalkers and t--lls.

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 2:49pm

For many years I was involved with taking Dr Julian Pepperell out along with other gamefishing association members to apply the sonic and pop-up sat tags on the giant black marlin off Cairns each season. They cost around $2k per tag. They got no gov funding but we managed to tag around 20 marlin over 900lb each season all paid for through GFAA. The data recieved through it is still ongoing and invaluable.

It would be very easy to do the same with white sharks as they are way easier to catch and release safely.

mickj's picture
mickj's picture
mickj commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 3:20pm

Reckon you could crowdsource this one fairly easily ...

hem-stret's picture
hem-stret's picture
hem-stret commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 3:27pm

I make these comments with all sensitivities and condolescences to those that have lost friends and family to shark attacks. It is a terrible way to go and the attacks are against my favourite tribal members, surfers. Ive dived most of the pacific, with my favourite creatures sharks and large pelagics. for decades. Its not until you actually try and seek these creatures you realise how hard now it actually is to find them. The world is rapidly losing its large, mysterious and dangerous creatures. An example, I dived a place called the shark cave in a deep channel in the solomons. it was known for its sharks of all species and in particular hammerheads. we dived beyond the regular tourisr run to where a couple of locals had found an amazing highway of sharks at the very limit of recreational scuba depths with a very long deco stop. It was one of the best experiences I have ever had. the most sharks I have ever seen using one particular channel, different species and ages. I wont forget how many of them had a fin missing or fishing wire trace trailing from their mouths though. we went to another island and one of the locals had a 10ft hammerhead carcass, all finned and rotting on the beach. he got $30 Aus for it to a malaysian logging ship. probably bought smokes and booze. we told him we had just paid thousands to fly out and see these sharks, and we did not see a hammerhead on that trip except the slaughtered one.

A drop knee cutback to the foam

hem-stret's picture
hem-stret's picture
hem-stret commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 3:40pm

Continued, Ive since gone searching places like Kavieng, PNG, and been involved with a couple of dive operations on the barrier reef and southern queensland. I had grown up in some other pacific islands and remember the differences in coral health, large pelagics and sharks and rays. I am of the firm belief that the pacific is f....ckd big time. Ive been a member of greenpeace since i was 14, and have stopped all my donations to conservation groups etc. I will not pay anymore to try and protect what we should all be interested in, the health of the land, sea and the life that it sustains. If you have children you either very optimistic or very naive if you think they have a positive future on this planet with current human populations, population growth and industry activity.

A drop knee cutback to the foam

reecen's picture
reecen's picture
reecen commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 4:06pm

You say culling doesn't work, but this is a statement from the NSW DPI.

"While the nets cannot provide a guarantee that a shark attack will never happen, we believe they have been effective in greatly reducing the number of attacks.
Since the NSW shark meshing program was put in place in 1937, there has only been one fatal attack on a meshed beach. That fatality occurred at Merewether Beach, Newcastle, in 1951.
Before the program was in place, during the period from 1900 to 1936, there was an average of one fatal shark attack every year in NSW waters."

klm's picture
klm's picture
klm commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 7:40pm

I worked for the NSW DPI and the consensus of the shark experts is that meshing is a waste of time. As everyone knows, many are caught on the beach side as they exit the beach. Another point that was raised was that no politician is brave enough to take the nets down. Can you imagine what would happen to the politician that makes the decision to remove the nets if someone was attacked after their removal? Even if an attack occurred years after they were removed there would be some muppets who blame the decision to take the nets down and the guy who made the decision.

reecen's picture
reecen's picture
reecen commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 2:35am

So how do you explain the statement from DPI?

rpda's picture
rpda's picture
rpda commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 6:57am

Since the NSW shark meshing program was put in place in 1937, there has only been one fatal attack on a meshed beach. That fatality occurred at Merewether Beach, Newcastle, in 1951.
Before the program was in place, during the period from 1900 to 1936, there was an average of one fatal shark attack every year in NSW waters."

The DPI statement compares fatalities on meshed beaches with fatalities on all nsw waterways incl rivers etc.Maybe we should compare like for like and maybe attacks rather then deaths as I am sure rescue and emergency care has improved significantly with access, transport and highly trained personnel.

These are only a few factors that need to be considered when making comparisons

klm's picture
klm's picture
klm commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 11:38am

What rpda said, also the website does not reflect the personal/professional opinions of individual scientists, it supports policy

hem-stret's picture
hem-stret's picture
hem-stret commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 4:41pm

Humans are not endangered. At all. Some suggestions I have heard in this forum are things like GPS tagging Great Whites and culling. The GPS tagging would have to effect the sharks streamlining and possibly interfere with its hunting senses.

A drop knee cutback to the foam

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 4:51pm

effect the streamling .......probably less effect than battle scars seen on dorsal and pectoral fins on the larger beasts

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 4:59pm

Agree, and the areas they attach are usually on the body far away from vital sensing organs.

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 5:12pm

At the base of the dorsal fin against the back.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 5:26pm

what about a remora or two attached under the mouth area some of those are bigger than any tag.

hem-stret's picture
hem-stret's picture
hem-stret commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 5:25pm

Dont get me wrong, Im not wanting to get eaten myself and before the exposure camera clowns destroyed SA I spent a lot of time floating around out there by myself.
It is a theory, but the attack in Elliston a while back was considered a slow, fat hungry pregnant female white looking for easy prey. off the inside edge of the reef. if we slow down or hinder these sharks, potentially like an old/injured lion or any wild animal they will go for whats around and maybe try something easy or unusual. a surfer or swimmer is probably a toxic slimy calorie deficient looking floater but easy to catch compared to a seal or dolphin.

A drop knee cutback to the foam

reecen's picture
reecen's picture
reecen commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 5:29pm

"a surfer or swimmer is probably a toxic slimy calorie deficient looking floater"
Ha ha ha ha gold.
A lot of full blown alcoholics where you surf?

hem-stret's picture
hem-stret's picture
hem-stret commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 5:57pm

I need to get to my main points though, and they are these. The American coastline, South Africa and Australia, where we have had limited protection and some chance of a population increase of Whites, has probably helped their cause. its not the Asian free for all or euro total destruction of everything aquatic. however, the international waters are still the 'wild west' and would be massively depleted of fish/whale/turtle stocks so the hunting in deeper waters probably isnt that good. so they are closer to large populations of humans,around our limited protection coastlines. The single best theory Ive heard, not sure where, possibly a swellnet forum, is that the attacks in WA would be focused due to the floating ships of death, the live sheep/cattle trade. Urine/manure and dead sheep being thrown overboard and disgarded in massive numbers. If you link the attacks on WW2 sailors in the pacific, post battle, it was believed the sharks would respond to the percussions of war/explosions/sinkings and obviously the waste going overboard with the ships would have provided food in between. the sharks apparently would arrive in great numbers by the end of the conflict years to clean up the wounded sailors at mercy in the ocean. in the case of the horrific and brutal live export trade ( my opinion), and im in no way religous, but I think its a bit of humans reaping what we sow. the solution, put cameras and trackers on everything, 'safety cameras of the ocean, and to protect life destroy the beauty and mystery of life. you have a slight reason to puff that chest out because when we enter, leave the ocean, we survived something and possibly had an encouter or experience that heightended the senses. the whites are, if youve seen one, a sight not easily forgotten. much better than looking at a fucken ipod. if you want helmets, epirbs, life jackets, fluoro vests, alchohol testing (AMSA are coming!) whilst surfing, board regisrations, a safety audit before you surf and everything that sucks the marrow out of experiences and things that make life interesting, then cause some prick will make a buck out of it you will get it. there is no easy solution, but if you want safety and boredom head you could possibly head off to singapore or somewhere where the ocean is already dead and you probably need government approval to put on a pair of bathers. I love the ocean because it is, sort of, free and dangerous, people are hell bent on experiencing this life in a safety condom and really, we need to correlate our actions and our exploitations with animals just trying to survive this planet with the human plague. personally, the seals have given me a hell time at some places and chased me all the way up the beach. I fear those cheeky buggers too, but they are like the dogs of the sea i suppose and deserve a fair go too. surely the seals have worked out when a human rocks up in the area most of their crays would be taken so I suppose im copping it for that. i dont even eat seafood so i hope you cray eaters have appreciated my sacrifices.

A drop knee cutback to the foam

hem-stret's picture
hem-stret's picture
hem-stret commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 6:01pm

Re reecen, a human corpse takes a long time to decompose now, supposedly due all the preservatives we consume. not to mention our chemical exposure and polluted food. i reckon sharks would think we smell like an arse.

A drop knee cutback to the foam

reecen's picture
reecen's picture
reecen commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 6:33pm

Hem street - Do you eat lamb or beef? And as a cray eater your sacrifices just sound ridiculous.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 6:34pm

hem-stret ,where can I read about decomposition taking longer due to eating of preservatives ??

shoredump's picture
shoredump's picture
shoredump commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 6:46pm

I'm with Hem-stret, keep the oceans wild & dangerous.

reecen's picture
reecen's picture
reecen commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 6:48pm

Just got to get the "floating ships of death" thing off my chest as well.
Western Australia for example - the ships are loaded in Western Australia, once they leave the harbor they head for northern ports or abroad.
When they are steaming they are doing about 15 knots which means in a 24 hour period they cover 360 nautical miles or 666 kilometers in a 24 hour period.
It would have to be a pretty bloody determined shark to follow one of these modern vessels in the hope of receiving a 4 legged tampon over the side.
The "ships of death" baloney is the most hyped up pile of steaming manure I have ever heard. A great deal of thought, money and effort goes into building those vessels to keep the stock comfortable, makes sense really when you think if someone is buying stock and shipping them abroad they don't really want to end up with a load of sick, malnourished worthless sheep and cattle at the other end. People die on planes, trains and ships everyday. The only difference is they usually don't get thrown off.

andrew-pitt's picture
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andrew-pitt commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 6:54pm

Remote islands provide good case studies.
To my understanding....
In response to shark attacks on remote Reunion Island (Indian Ocean) surfing is now banned, with a euro 50 fine if caught. Apparrently the Marine Protected area established some years ago has resulted in: No more fishing industry, no more surfing, no more surf industry, and no tourists want to go there. The local reef sharks have been eaten out by Tigers moving in.
see this link
http://www.surfermag.com/features/reunion-island-bans-surfing/

klm's picture
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klm commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 7:47pm

Without trying to sound like a narrow-minded hippy, it just seems so laughable that culling is considered. On a very basic level, it's such a disgusting thing to do. We want to go in the ocean, but let's kill the animals that might hurt us. What, we're going to kill them all? What if the one we don't kill kills someone? It's so sad and stupid. We are going to be the most bizarre species that future civilisations study, I think our hallmark will be that we were too stupid to use intelligence intelligently.

LKG's picture
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LKG commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 8:21pm

I think most of you guys commenting are from the East coast and don't have this fear in the back of your mind every time you surf.
I was never pro cull, always believing that we took our risks in the water, but things are starting to get out of hand.
10 years ago in WA, shark stories were just that, stories. A few outer reefs were left alone by the majority, as they just seemed too sketchy, but now it seems like we are hearing another sighting every week, and they are not small fish being seen.
Anyone who claims there are more people in the water now are deluded, 10 years ago Lefties would have a pack of 30 on it at 7am as everyone in WA is up at sparrows fart to get some waves before the sea breeze kicks in at 10am.

WA also has a shark tagging program in place, over 300 sharks have been tagged, yet there are still very large (over 3 mters) Great Whites and Tiger sharks being seen which are not setting of the transponders.
Although the idea of the alarm on the beach is a good one, currently the surf life saving send out tweets if a shark is seen, not much good when your out in the water.
There are daily helicopter patrols, but when a test was done with fake sharks, the ones placed in water deeper than 6 meters were not seen, so how useful are these flights?
The advice from the Government is laughable, they are re-sprouting stuff that my parents believed, the last few attacks have occurred during the day, and in good weather.
One very important point, which was brought up earlier is the increasing amounts of humpback activity and seals in the SW WA.
Last year they estimated 50 000 humpback migrated up the coast, compare that to the 70's when only 600 were counted due to the whaling industry.
The seal population has also exploded, with NZ fur seals, which are not even native taking over. It all adds up to a perfect environment for large sharks.
I don't know what the answer is, but there are clear signs that the great white population is not as endangered as many people claim.

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hem-stret commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 8:46pm

@reecen , my experience selling cattle, is that the death of the livestock starts early. I concede, not totally conversant with the process of livestock going onto the ships but I doubt it is an enjoyable process. when they are loaded from the farm the stress begins. we were lucky to move stock by eye dog. the loaders would come in and use electric prod. they would slip on the ramps, rear up etc. then, depending on destination, a long trip usually without shade or water and pretty crushed in, remembering now truckies have limited driving hours. so possibly an overnight stop thrown in to make the journey longer. then, off to fattening yards where they eat grain which is not their normal diet and will change their composition. normally with f all shade and the ability to graze. then, the methods I would imagine to get an animal onto the ship would be by electric prod, into another alien environment and no grazing or the ability to move into/out of the sun as they needed for temp regulation. im a young minded old drover. hooves and metallic ramps and metal floors on a rocking ship dont mix, they would be easy to wash at least. as for ship speed, warships etc would be travelling easily as fast and the sharks seem to stay with things like aircraft carriers pretty easy. whats the speed of a tuna school? anyway, hope you can clarify some points there. it seems to me, as stakeholders in the oceans it would be great if we as users of the oceans had the input and the ability to influence policies a bit more. agreed the whites may be making a bit of a comeback. my interest is in seeing hammerheads, mako and thresher sharks too, you would think all this increase in food supply would help their cause but those species are basically f....d. udo at work, I will try and find the literature at home if theres no surf this weekend. In any case, I'll take dealing with a GW than a WA cop any day..............and reecen, after discusions with a meat inspector mate at a lot of the abbatiors etc, and farming, im a reformed vego but if i buy meat it would be a couple times of year. still love the smell of a bbq, but I know what it took to get to that point. grassfed aussie lamb or beef only.

A drop knee cutback to the foam

gaptron's picture
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gaptron commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 9:41pm

Great article, however the risk is so low it does not warrant further discussion. Are we trying to keep cars off the road? how many people die in car accidents...

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hem-stret commented Friday, 29 Nov 2013 at 10:58pm

BTW, I do not feel as protective of the bronze whaler/bull sharks, which have proven to be far more resilient to human pressures and changing food supplies. A tiger shark is a serious fish for surfers due their propensity to 'mouth' objects, they seem to be less 'sensitive' than a white which is generally quite cautious and will have investigate at a distance. the jaws/teeth of a tiger is designed to go through tortoise shell. I just read through the reunion island article. again, only my opinion, but when you dive you see human impact. what generally happens are the medium sized table fish are virtually non existant, so you will have juveniles and non breeding size/age fish. with our local line fishing, the larger sharks can break off the set lines. The only dive I have seen all size and age ranges of fish, and again a large protected reserve whereby the breeding size and territorial fish can maintain that territory, was so different to the other areas Ive ever dived. they were not scared in terms of spear fisherman either, and the sharks acted naturally and not scared but inquisitive. even a wobbegong in breeding time will swim up off the sea floor and 'discourage' any potential rivals which has happened to me before. I guess the WA reef system is what the Barrier reef was decades ago, and I would hate to see silly policies like selling off Barrow island to mining companies (Curtis island in Gladstone and what is happening in that area has even hardened fishoes shaking their heads) and a tourism agenda remove the potential for a healthy apex predator environment. its a question of the world we want to live in. Again, i ask the question, how many humans does it take to achieve what we need to achieve, and what are we trying to achieve? As australians we haved lived off our environment thus far, we need to be a bit more clever and Im sure our divers/scientists may have a non lethal or less harmful solution within grasp if we become a clever country again. For example, Norway put its oil profits into a general fund, the country has massive cash reserves and is doing things like seed banking and other smart initiatives that will secure their future. Australia is in this continual stupid phase where we get Gina Rhinehart and Clive Palmer personally profiting, and seem to want GE crops and terminator seeds we have to buy off companies like monsanto. Its way off track, but our environment and our animals wild and domestic are our life source, which should be dealt with intellectually and with vision. Ive had a GW swim inside myself and the reef before, it spooked me for a long time and I had those human protective urges start to surface, but I decided to educate myself and put it in perspective, go face to face again with a white and I can tell you it would be the worlds loss if we lose another wild species. At least take the smarter option over predictable and historical human reactions.

A drop knee cutback to the foam

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southey commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 1:38am

hey hem street ,
give it a rest will ya . your all over the shop .. the worlds ending , the oceans are dead .....
,most people on this forum have their head around the concept of over population and over consuming ....... be it fish or whatever .....
but i think you'd best be served moving to SE Asia , well anywhere in asia with high population densities . and start spruiking your message there . i'm tired of it and the same for every other " PC " evangelist that forgets without the human nature of us controlling our surroundings we'd still be climbing trees , and eating and playing in our own shit ..... get a grip all of you , your giving the site and surfing an even worse reputation than the old drug addled 70's ....
Clearly " researchers " have no fuckin' idea about statistics of sharks , they don't even understand their mating habits or even migration patterns . As for comparing a place like Hawaii for shark statistics to southern Australia or any other cool water coastline thats rediculous . Clearly the Hawaiin islands would be lacking in the seal department . And as for the old NSW net arguements , inside or out it doesn't matter where they get caught in the nets , they obviously provide a " cap " on the number of larger 'read "smarter"/ older sharks that stay away as real comparable statistics show on the most populated and used waters nearly anywhere in the world ( central NSW coast ) , which would almost mirror similar ocean environments to WA . almost ....
survival of the fittest / smartest . And since i can carry a gun , i'm tipping that fish won't win .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

klm's picture
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klm commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 11:54am

southey wrote: And as for the old NSW net arguements , inside or out it doesn't matter where they get caught in the nets , they obviously provide a " cap " on the number of larger 'read "smarter"/ older sharks that stay away as real comparable statistics show on the most populated and used waters nearly anywhere in the world ( central NSW coast ) , which would almost mirror similar ocean environments to WA . almost ....

I don't understand what you're saying here mate. What statistics? I think you're making assumptions here. Scientists may not know their reproductive/migration behaviours but they don't substitute lack of knowledge with hunches and guesses - which seems to be what you've done here.
I've seen many a large 'smarter' shark unloaded on the jetty after being pulled dead from the nets, whites too.

reecen's picture
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reecen commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 1:56am

hem-stret, don't eat meat cause there feet have to touch metal and they get poked with a cattle prod? I am sure when you were droving cattle you got stung by many a cattle prod and managed to cope with it physically and mentally?
Farming isn't perfect but they probably live a more relaxed life then if they were contending with the harsh realities of a wild life with wolves or lions running them down and tearing them up or dealing with drought etc.
Sharks simply do not follow a boat doing 15 knots for long periods of time, even on a fishing boat chucking heaps of old bait over the side with a pack of sharks following and fighting over the bait, steam to a new spot at 15 knots over a few miles and they get left behind real fast, on a good day you can watch them following the boat in the wake but even then they get tired / bored? and peel of before a couple of miles have gone by.
The other types of sharks are puppy dogs compared to what those whites have been doing to people the last few years in W.A. Way more of them then whites and don't hear of to many fatalities attributed to them.
Had some massive Tigers buzz us and they have been like big lazy oafs coming in for a look then cruising off, same cant be said for most of the instances when a white has come in for a close range look at people in W.A. lately.
I don't want to see any population at the brink but I am pretty keen to see a thinning of the very top of the food chain, I am only referring to the bite you in half and swallow you in two gulps variety. Turtle eating teeth don't have anything on those big serrated steak knives.
No nets just some selective thinning, as I have carried on about before, make some money out of it and get people to pay some big bucks (put it back into research?) to take out a few of the big fuckers. Get the scientists to put a quota limit on it, take out only fish over a certain size. Way more selective then netting or drum lines but seems to be a huge no no to all of the pious do gooders.
Funny how a lot of the people making the noise seem perfectly happy turning a blind eye to all the nets and drumline along the eastern seaboard doing a fabulous job of indiscriminately thinning out the shark numbers every day of the year.

But everyone cries Boo hoo I want a wild ocean, yeah me too but I don't want the last thing I see to be my ass and legs swimming off inside the mouth of a giant fish. Or my young grommets being a hors d'oeuvre.

Oh and Gladstone, I bet you in 10 years time that people are banging on about how industry and nature manage to coexist in harmony so well. That joint is being done a favour.

fitzroy-21's picture
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fitzroy-21 commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 8:50am

reecen wrote: The other types of sharks are puppy dogs
Had some massive Tigers buzz us and they have been like big lazy oafs coming in for a look then cruising off
I am only referring to the bite you in half and swallow you in two gulps variety. Turtle eating teeth don't have anything on those big serrated steak knives.
.

@Reecen, come and spend a week or two with me out on the GBR or particularly out in the Coral Sea and you may just change your mind on Tigers. They are certainly not lazy puppy dogs as I have seen them charge prey at full pace in surprise attacks.I have also witnessed large sea creatures (full grown turtles, marlin, large whaler sharks & hammerheads etc) cut clean in half in one bite.

They may not reach 4000lb like the Whites but I have sets of Tiger jaws that I can drop over me, without the teeth touching, like a hoola hoop.

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reecen commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 11:40am

Don't get me wrong Fitzroy, still have utmost respect for the tigers and have seen lots of them in action over the years, including one which changed my whole outlook on how big tigers grow. But put me in the water with a big dopey tiger any day of the week compared to a white.
The numbers speak for themselves (in WA at least), so many tigers so few attacks yet we are having people eaten by whites.

fitzroy-21's picture
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fitzroy-21 commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 12:07pm

I'm hearing ya reecen. The stats don't lie. I still have a very healthy respect for them all.

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reecen commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 2:01am

Ha ha Southey, gun aint going to save you sitting on a surfboard.

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southey commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 2:08am

not unless that surfboard is a gun ;-)

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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frog commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 10:06am

The dynamics of shark risk can shift over time. Mostly it is in surfers' favour due to overfishing. But Reunion Island is an example where things have rapidly shifted to higher risk due to the big population increase of sharks after the marine reserves were established. An extreme example is Bikini Atoll which has been largely untouched by humans since the atom bomb tests. A photographer who went there said the marine life was incredible. Fish everywhere and LOTS of sharks.

The sharks were very aggressive as they were top of the food chain and had nothing to fear. The photographer had to leave the water and could only film by sticking his camera in the water off the edge of the boat.

The protection of the Great White will have an impact - lots more juveniles being sighted. These will become adults and look for larger prey. So the overall statistics across the world per person or per surfer can say one thing but the situation at a particular locality may be very different to the overall risk profile and this profile can change within a decade. WA now is not the same as it was a decade ago. The seal populations around Australia have been slow to come back but 20 years from now may be much more numerous.

Frogg

udo's picture
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udo commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 9:11am

was there any tagging done on the large juvenile white population of Stockton beach hawks nest areas ? a cage dive with a camera just beyond the surf line would be interesting at Stockton.

hem-stret's picture
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hem-stret commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 9:16am

yep southey, your right, the tide is out on my point of view. I disagree with you but we can both discuss from observations of the ocean and what we see and experience. at least surfers have some idea of whats going on and its a shame we are so heavily exposed to this more recent spate of attacks. I would never move to Asia and spread the PC message because its a waste of time. Having seen India and the scorched earth and mega populations in that country alone how will things progress (whats progress measured by? healthy environment? massive populations? intact ecosystems? mining booms?) Selective line fishing may be a solution for thinning the GW's in the aea. Im just cautioning that we dont end up with an asiatic tiger or european wolf situation. Im off for a surf, in some of the cleanest water and purest air on the planet. Hopefully I wont get eaten ( theres been a leopard seal around apparently).

A drop knee cutback to the foam

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mikehunt207 commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 12:07pm

Interesting stats but umbies would barely be 30 metres from the shore as is lefthanders and even south point to a degree so there goes one theory, mid morning on a sunny day, another. Another factor is to count the number of single surf sessions in a day at these popular crowded surf spots, if any good at all there will be guys surfing these spots from dawn to dark umbies maybe 12-20 guys and lefties 15-30 all day.So that is a huge amount of surfs that go down in a year without an attack . The president of the local boardriders is calling for a cull of the biggest sharks and lots people are jumping on; do we know if the one or two giant sharks actually keep the numbers of smaller (3m) sharks in line ? territories and so forth? I was under the belief they do (take a look at 6o Mins ;The Bremmer Trench story) the arrival of the big daddy 5metre guy caused 6 juveniles to split pretty fast beforehand. Not to mention the hypocrisy of Australia trying to fight the Japanese on whaling and then we go out and start killing migrating shark populations. Just a start, shark attacks make big news but maybe lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater and have a think about it first. If you are so scared of sharks maybe just find something you think is safer to do, that will leave more waves for everybody else and leave these sharks alone.

nogo's picture
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nogo commented Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 at 1:03pm

Personally I think sunny clear days are the worst. They can see you easy than when its dark/clowdy.

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wellymon commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 2:13pm

Quote Mikehunt " If you are so scared of sharks maybe just find something you think is safer to do, that will leave more waves for everybody else and leave these sharks alone."
Same thoughts there.

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

udo's picture
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udo commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 3:41pm

7 days on we just had another attack in the coffs harbor area...possibly fatal, FUCK.

wellymon's picture
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wellymon commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 3:22pm

In your neck of the woods Udo!

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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brutus commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 3:26pm

Hem-street,ya making too much sense....I like your comments and relevant antidotes

as for Tiger sharks,when well fed seem pretty docile till ya talk to any fisherman/surfer from Hawaii..where attacks are made by tigers....the place has been fished out and a lot of agro Tigers have now taken their fair share of humans.

as there are more and more surfers,less fish...any surfer who goes into the ocean and thinks that they are not part of the food chain,are kidding themselves...less fish means that humans are becoming more and more likely to be eaten..

the ol reverse culling by sharks seems fair enough to me....might start to keep the crowds down or if ya can't take the fear...invest in a wave pool...

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 3:37pm

Wow, you're right Udo, very sad and just an untimely coincidence :(  http://www.smh.com.au/national/surfer-killed-in-shark-attack-near-coffs-harbour-20131130-2yi51.html

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simba commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 6:07pm

Heres a heads up,18 year old bodyboarder killed near sapphire beach at coffs harbour today by a shark so im feeling a bit angry at the moment,know where the WA guys are coming from.

simba

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southey commented Saturday, 30 Nov 2013 at 11:05pm

Brutus ,
With the most respect , and especially after what you've recently gone through .
Pls don't take this the wrong way .
But how long do you think that you want to be able to spend as much time
In the water as you currently do ?!? 10 years , 20 ?
It's okay for you to sound all nonchalant?!? You've had 40-50 years of
Quality water time in a mostly benign ocean ( atleast in the way of fatal
Attacks ) and that time was probably owed to a time when society didn't
Think too much about the consequences of their actions . ( in response to
Fucking with the food chain) .
Truth be known that , my personal response is probably not much different
To yours , but I'm sick of people either pandering to conventional " modern "
Politically correct thought . And belittling guys that are clearly distressed at losing
So many friends in so many short years .
I mean Tom Innes is not exactly your typical uneducated ex pro , and not some bogan fisho . So if he leads a group of like minded individuals , that feel the balance is askew or that something needs to be done . Then as the local " custodians " I support heir view . And I know they don't represent the entire population in The respective area .
Now Tom is no cowboy , and is pretty humble and meek . For him to come out in the face of " politically correct thought then I applaud his brave stance . At very least people should respect it .
Back to the now and here , the last fatal in Vic was 1977 . If Higgo's near miss
wasn't and the next 10 years starts to mimick SWA . Then I don't look forward to nights
like tonight before paddling out solo ( hopefully ) tomorrow . And fast forward further
Myself and my kids would like to not to lose too much sleep in the next 50-70 years .
Perspective is everything and no - one is right .
Anyway , it's good to have balanced discussion .! But I wish , we had more facts to base these on . Science is seriously lacking , like many other ideologies of this modern world .!!

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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brutus commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2013 at 1:41am

Hi Southey,sorry if I offended anyone with my nonchalance as you put it,but I have surfed with sharks all my life,and have always semi-joked about the real locals in the surf being the Noahs!

I think that over the last few years with more attaccks ,more surfers, less fish that the odds of becoming part of the food chain have increased,and that's what we are witnessing now.

I am actually amazed there hasn't been more...when you see,for eg,the young boogie boarder attacked at Coffs who died,was the first fatal attack in 5 years in NSW. I am not sure what his odds were but try and imagine how many swimmers/surfers have been in the water in NSW in the last 5 years..the odds become astronomical of being attacked.

The Situation in WA is a perplexing one because of the amount of fatal attacks in the last few years.......I know one of the attacks at Lefties,the DS had buried a whale on the beack at Umbies.....as a way of disposing of the carcass......not a very bright solution........plus that area between Ellensbrook and South Point has some very deep water..when I lived there often went there in my boat,and with the depth sounder found some very deep ravines........and umbies to me always had a sharky vibe when surfing there,as does cobblestones.....really similar to where I grew up between W'bool ,port Fairy Portland....

I have known Tom since he was a kid and have a lot of respect for him and his family....and I am sure emotions are running high in WA at the moment.....as you pointed out there is just not enough scientific data available and you would like to think that Govts/Surfers would start making a call for more scientific research into the current state of affairs in WA ......culling is an emotional reaction not based on science but more a quick political solution to appease the emotions of the day.

I wonder how many surfers have been killed in car accidents in the last few years......we seem to accept that when you get into a car that there is a chance of being involved in accident but it has just become an accepted norm in society......that's how I see surfing in the ocean......you just accept the risks......we are part of the food chain.......its tragic when we lose someone.......but slaughtering sharks is not the answer......

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braithy commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2013 at 8:25am

To kill sharks because we want to 'play' safely in their backyard, just seems the optimum in human selfishness and cowardice.

For me, part (well, most) of the allure of surfing is finding solitude and entering a habitat where I am the weakest and most vulnerable and testing myself in it.

Some of my best surfs of my life were in Tassie, 2-foot closeouts but not another human for 20kms, just me, the seals and the kelp beds which would keep the rock ledges nice and soft when I'd land on them.

If you took the sharks out of that equation, I may as well be playing golf, hey?

I can't agree with brutus more about slaughtering sharks; both as a morally acceptable or scientifically proven answer.

salt's picture
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salt commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2013 at 10:28am

Apparently A 4 metre White was hanging round the mid last week, it was seen harassing a seal, which then jumped up on the porties reef and chilled for quite sometime before it was safe to go back in the water. Reminds me of a couple of years ago when a whitey chased a seal into the onk. The seal ended up living for weeks up river, gorging itself on bream and salmon trout.

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klm commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2013 at 12:14pm

southey wrote: and that time was probably owed to a time when society didn't
Think too much about the consequences of their actions . ( in response to
Fucking with the food chain) .
Truth be known that , my personal response is probably not much different
To yours , but I'm sick of people either pandering to conventional " modern "
Politically correct thought . And belittling guys that are clearly distressed at losing
So many friends in so many short years .

So you think part of the solution to the problem caused by humans 'fucking with the food chain' is to cull great whites which is a prime example of humans 'fucking with the food chain'.

My opposition to culling has got nothing to do with politically correct thought at all, you're kidding yourself if you think that's the reason people are against culling. You said yourself that science is seriously lacking, so what makes you think that culling will keep swimmers safe? If science can't answer this question, what makes you so sure that culling is an appropriate measure to take?

Who's belittling guys who have lost mates to sharks? That's got nothing to do with it.

The old argument that 'when we go in the ocean we are not at the top of the food chain' is not just the view of tree hugging hippies, I can't understand why this view is considered a politically correct, invalid viewpoint these days. That should be the end of the discussion - If you go in the ocean you should know that there are some big fish in there that could kill you.

As brutus said, if we don't know why there seems to be an increase in attacks then we don't know how to reduce the risk, culling is a waste of time. We can't kill them all, and the ones we don't cull will be responsible for the next attack.

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southey commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2013 at 8:21pm

For F&@$ sake KLM ... You epitemize my angst
Find somewhere where I said I think culling sharks is a good
Idea .!!!!!!
That's the problem with popular thoughts , they get wrapped
Up in their own momentum and at times , become ugly in
Seconding each other .
My point was that these guys ( MR BR ) atleast some of them
are at the coal face on this . And people in this thread have tried
To make them out as mindless nature destroyers .
Don't start this apex predator shit with me , if they were so clever
They'd ( GW 's ) would be driving boats around driving surfers , divers etc to
Extinction . As a collective we are a far greater foe . And that is my point
It's only a minority that do brainless things , the rest of us have to bare the consequences . Clearly if there was no whaling and sealing industry up until
A couple of hundred years ago . Modern surfing outside of tropical waters would not be possible .
I understand that fish stocks have been depleted , but that doesn't fit the circumstances in WA . It's the >3M sharks that are causing the issues . And their food stocks are only increasing , with a rapid rise in migrating whales And new ( yes different species , NZ fur seals ) taking over old areas that had been abandoned . The other thing is if fish stocks are so depleted , how are these young juveniles reaching adult hood in ( anecdotally ) increasing numbers . I'm sure I've heard in some circles that large Pelagics actually fed on very young pups . This fits the match of reducing numbers /over fished tuna and such but it sounds a long bow to draw .
Anyway , everyone's saying the same things , but no - ones questioning why or how
We are seeing increasing numbers of sightings . The one thing I could only think of is with the advent of more reliable motors for the recreational fishing market that there is more sightings as the sharks aren't as threatened by these smaller boats .
Conclusion : there are far more rich miners , with more time on their hands and
NZ'ders are taking over .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2013 at 8:31pm

The reasons for the Margaret River Boardriders to condone culling seems entirely selfish as I've said before, and so has Braithy.

It's so they can surf safer in the knowing there's less predators out there, for pure leisure.

It's a risk we have to take on board, and it seems in WA you have to be even more vigilant.

Sure I'd be pissed if these attacks kept happening around my local, keeping me out of the water but the call to cull is a knee jerk reaction and won't help anyone.

southey's picture
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southey commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2013 at 8:52pm

Yeah Craig . Culling is extreme .
I can 100 percent guarantee that if your local was the focus of these attacks that surfers
Like you and I would have the last say as the general populace would be screaming for blood .!?! I think if there weren't those attacks off Rottnest , lancelin and city beach in the mix the WA gov , wouldn't blink an eyelid .! And they are far less constituent appeasing than NSW governments .!!!

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

shoredump's picture
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shoredump commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2013 at 9:04pm

I reckon we should shoot all the gorillas to make the jungles safer. Farrk, those elephants had better go too..

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hem-stret commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2013 at 9:26pm

@southey, not pickin a fight but is it your views that are PC mainstream? Do you surf with a helmet? And yeah everything is great, we get a thailand owned oil (west atlas) rig burn for weeks over there and the wa state govt covers all that up, as much as threat to all livelyhoods and wheres the vitriol and outcry over that? some of those 427 visa workers couldve lost their lives, all for $2.80 an hour. much easier to knock off a few sharks. it would feel like your doing something but try do something conservation wise, you will see the power brought to bear on those who dare protect the vulnerable and unfinanced. maybe we could get some 427 visa workers off dangerous oil rigs and into scuba gear, arm them up with powerheads and patrol the takeoff zone. Id support that.

A drop knee cutback to the foam

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hem-stret commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2013 at 9:28pm

And bloody oath, like birds of prey, ever seen wedgetails getting smothered by magpies, crows etc ,the large pelagics would prey on and harass juvenile/small sharks. i've seen a very large cuttlefish take a small shark in front of a school aquatics group at port noarlunga reef many moons ago. Large maori wrasse, cod and grouper manage to compete and hold their own in feeding frenzies with sharks of all sizes. All respect though southey, youre passionate and protective,and that deserves credit, good to see the aussie spirit alive. We need more of that.

A drop knee cutback to the foam

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sunshine commented Sunday, 1 Dec 2013 at 9:46pm

yeah ya gotta agree that years of commercial fishing all around oz,coupled with the protection order reguarding GWSharks may have produced an imbalanced food chain, whereby theres lots and lots of the (hungry)top predator and less and less of the depleted prey species.But now with a growing number of seals and whales on the scene,its just turnd into a horizon to horizon fucking feeding frenzy. if nothings done,the bastards might just eat each other to extinction anyway,which would make the afore-mentioned ,probably-faulted GWS protection decree kinda counterproductive. jokes aside,its a serious issue and condolences to all affected.

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southey commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 1:54am

I like you hem street , you can tell you've travelled .
I got over the negative " the planets gonna die , depressive feeling
A few years back " . So maybe I'm trying to save you from yourself .
I've become a realist , I still care , I do my bit " but I don't preach ". !
It's funny , people say I'm the furthest from PC you can get , and my
Surfing reflects this . No helmet for this twisted individual .
As for politics , don't get me started . I had to deal with the WA govt. or
To be frank lack of government everyday during my years over west , and
People joke about the well oiled machine that is QLD and
Indo govt's ..... Anyway we won't go there .
So we have guys agreeing with some issues I " come up with "
And then any other shark management or human intervention is like a
Holocaustal? Act !
Why can't we manage the danger by groups that care for the animals ,
Whilst the scientists " very loose term in this field " as so far they've seen
Very little in the way of light bulb moments . So much so it's seems they've
Probably been spending too much time with climatologists and copying their
Lack of practical field based observations .
The two fields mirror each other in that one doesn't consult the fisho's for real
Field analysis just as the other doesn't talk to farmers about their real time obs .
Anyway getting side tracked .
My Whole crux of this is it isn't black or white , which a few here are painting
It as .
. There's thousands of shades In between.....

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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mikehunt207 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 10:30am

I agree with Craig on the boardriders selfish culling call, why not get some actual scientists and educated opinions on the case rather than someone who is simply loves to have surfing contests (rather a conflict of issues there) . After previously throwing in with the Margaret River super contest venue ie Surfers Point over development fiasco and now "lets kill all the sharks " Tom has his hands full it would seem.

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strrretch commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 11:54am

the article is not so helpful. Is basically attempting to support the non culling argument.
Really, it's time to cut the crap and give permission to fishos to catch large sharks within 5 kilometres of the coast. Let them sell the product....hence an industry is created and a problem in time, solved.
Talking to cray fishos here in the west, it is obvious, for whatever reason, shark numbers are way up. Could it be because of increased whale numbers?....ahh duh
Really, are we going to continue to waffle on endlessly while innocent sea lovers are terrorised and murdered?
Whenever I now hear of another attack, I find it difficult not to see the people who support the non culling of large sharks as a partial accessory to murder.

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velocityjohnno commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 12:07pm

Southy gotta say I generally agree with you. As people we seem to have taken leave of the idea that we ARE part of ecosystems; we seem in denial that we can have a local influence by choice in the face of the massive mechanised influence on landscapes and oceans. There was never a time that fishermen did not target sharks, until recently.

Further to this, to walk the South Coast track in Tassie, and parts of the Tarkine hinterland and coast presents a puzzle. These were once peopled, and now are present as landscapes devoid of ANY human occupancy. It's some kind of green idyll, but in no way is it natural. Fuel loads amongst eucalypt dominated landscapes build to dangerous levels now that constant burning ("management") has been lessened. Numbers of animals either no longer hunted, or protected have boomed. Crocodiles in the NT. Kangaroos - in 1770 these were comparatively rare as of the hunting pressure.

Some are mentioning 'ecosystems out of balance'. We know that recreational and commercial fishing targets tasty and bottom dwelling fish and that these are depleted in many areas. Like Hem-stret I too have experienced a fully balanced marine ecosystem - the fish were 'tame', there were multiple sizings present and it was a sight to behold. But that is now the exception, not the rule, and perhaps behaviour patterns are changing in the ocean.

Other species like the Pink Snapper (supposedly fed on by juvenile GWS) which tend do spawn in bays protected from prevailing SW winds at this time of year (Cockburn sound, the Gulf, Pt Philip Bay, Westernport etc) are keenly fished and although restrictions are in place are subject to time-dwarfism and reduced numbers...

What I'm getting at is through our influence we have (always) been an environmental manager, a part or "apex" of the food chain. We can destroy the lot ("eat our future") or we can harvest selectively as we have done for eons - limited by our technology until now; and now limited by our "policy" too! If we are to harvest selectively, let's look at what we are currently doing to the food pyramid: we are selectively taking a great deal of the lower levels, and taking nothing at the top. Surely this is imbalanced?

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freeride76 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 12:59pm

This isn't an argument in favour of culling, but the article quoted is factually pretty much useless in dealing with the SWWA situation.

There's clearly been a massive increase in attacks there that don't correspond to what is considered scientific knowledge.

when empirical evidence doesn't match the accepted theories, it's time to change the theories because the evidence doesn't lie.

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blindboy commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 1:53pm

"when empirical evidence doesn't match the accepted theories, it's time to change the theories because the evidence doesn't lie. "

True enough freeride but we need to be sure of the evidence. Given the random nature of shark attacks and the small numbers involved, the sequence of attacks in WA in recent years could be no more meaningful than getting a few heads in a row when tossing a coin. The data is just too skimpy to be useful. Even if a cull were held and the number of attacks dropped it would not mean that the cull caused the decrease as it could have been going to occur anyway as a reversion to the mean. As it stands there does not appear to be enough evidence to make any scientific judgement about an appropriate response. What that means in practice is that we are probably best advised to do nothing except encourage people to take sensible precautions.

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freeride76 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 2:11pm

Sure, but the notion of sensible precautions is becoming meaningless when blokes are being taken in full sun, clear water, small surf close to the beach in the middle of the morning.

The issue here is the increase in attacks.

Statistically meaningful?

Probably is if you live, work and surf in the region.

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theween commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 2:21pm

The only comments worth reading or listening to are from the surfers/ocean users in the areas where these attacks are happening. It's very easy to pontificate when you are not directly affected (hem-stret, craig,et al). Good on Tom Innes for looking after the locals' right to surf without the constant threat of being on the daily menu.

The Ween

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blindboy commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 3:00pm

freeride science has to be emotionally detached....or it's not science anymore. I can't claim to know how people are feeling down there but I do know that it is very easy to slide into irrational behaviour on the basis of "..something needs to be done" when in this case the objective truth is that we have no idea what should be done.

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freeride76 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 5:37pm

blindboy wrote: freeride science has to be emotionally detached....or it's not science anymore. I can't claim to know how people are feeling down there but I do know that it is very easy to slide into irrational behaviour on the basis of "..something needs to be done" when in this case the objective truth is that we have no idea what should be done.

I have a science background Blindboy, I understand how the process works. Science relies on a testable/provable hypothesis that has to be replicated.
An hypothesis is a creative act, ie a human being thinks it up. As such it is just as prone to irrationality as any other human endeavour.
Come up with a shitty/inadequate hypothesis and you get shitty science.

That could be the case here. Not sure, we aren't seeing the experimental abstracts.

What we can say is that the recommendations from fisheries, supposedly based upon the science, are not just useless and a very poor map of reality as measured against the observed data, they are potentially misleading and dangerous.

Seems like most GWS attacks on surfers/swimmers/divers aren't based upon any of those factors which they outline.

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frog commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 3:00pm

All sorts of factors are at work that impact on specific localities. It has often been noted by some researchers and observers that a bunch of large sharks lazily follw pods of whales a few kilometres back to pick up the sick or weak, after birth etc. After the heavy whaling in the west early last centruy this pattern would have been broken over there but would now be re-establishing itself. In between then and now, they may have moved offshure further to pick up pelagic fish or thinned out due to lack of food.

Now with whale migrations increasing rapidly, this would bring a stream of large sharks up and down the coast closer in more regularly perhaps. I suspect with numbers and less hunting by humans, they may become more confident as is the case with many predators. There are plenty of reports of Great Whites seeming to work in pairs.

The dynamics are shifting in certain locations, so any views on how to deal with this can't just be based on past statistics or worldwide stats or comprarison to deaths by bee stings or car accidents. If Rottnest Island is your regular spot to surf, your safety equation is totally different to surfing a crowded city beach with shark netting and little food nearby to attract in anything big.
How far things move in the direction of higher risk in very much an unknown though as sharks seem to leaves surfers alone much more often than not.

Frogg

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pensky commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 3:15pm

I'm no statistician but it seems to me that the old adage that 60% of statistics are accurate 90% of the time is morphing this discussion.

I don't think it helps to pull out stats about deaths from road, cyclones , escalators or chicken bones and compare them directly with shark attacks. Aren't these figures meaningless by themselves ? Surely the issue for surfers is the risk ie probability of an attack. It seems to me that this figure is completely different to a statistic showing frequency. A few people posting comments have essentially said that there are huge numbers of people surfing and using the water which makes the risk tiny. I fundamentally disagree with this. As surfers we tend to have a very surf centric view of the world. As you get more immersed in the lifestyle you surround yourself moreband more with like minded people. Often this means you exclude non-surfers from your world view. The end result is that there is a tendency to live in a bubble of self importance where we forget that we are a TINY % of the overall population.

Back to my point about risk - to assess this properly wouldn't we need to consider the sample sizes of each incident (say surfing v car accidents). I don't think you can say that realistically those people swimming between the flags or having surf lessons on foamies are part of a genuinely "at risk" sample. The sample would comprise surfers/bodyboarders etc and other users of the marine environment in more remote/isolated/vulnerable locations - deeper water swimmers, divers, windsurfers etc. my point above is that i dont think this sample size is actually very big at all. it might seem like there are a lot of people in the water (esp here in wa - as someone posted everyone is in the water early before the breeze hits) but If you compare this number to say the number of people driving cars it's miniscule.

Of course I could be completely wrong here and even if you adjusted the sample sizes the risk of driving on the road is still much greater but I don't think the discrepancy is nearly as large as I keep seeing/hearing people say based on frequency of incidents alone.

Basically I'm saying that I think it's much riskier to be in the water than what people are trying to assert using common stats of other accidents.

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blak commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 3:20pm
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braithy commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 3:51pm

blak wrote: Tell Zac Young about how passive Tigers are ...

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/biologist-identifies-shark-tha...

The shark bit him and let go when Zac wasn't what the shark was after. This information is obviously no comfort to the family and friends of Zac.

But if it's solutions people want to curb shark attacks, you'd have have to kill every White, Bull, Tiger and Whaler in the ocean. Which in itself is a ridiculous proposition. But. Anything less would be all about just making people feel better.

I think if we enter the ocean, we do so knowing we might die. Those who fear shark attack too much, maybe they should stay dry?

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shoredump commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 3:26pm

This is not a scientific debate but rather a moral one. Is it ok to kill an innocent creature to allow us to have more fun?

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brutus commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 4:11pm

ever since I started surfing and was chased out of the water by 15' plus white in Portland in the 60's....I realized that I am part of the food chain everytime I surf.

I have seen sharks all over in Vic,Hawaii and the NW of WA.........I understand that there is a predator in the water that possibly sees me as part of the GWS's dinner menu. I have surfed with for more than 45 years and have spent a lot of time surfing in the West........and I agree that the environment had changed ,how many people/surfers have been attacked up in the NW.....??

culling great whites is an emotional reaction to try and lessen the fear that is currently sweeping the surfing community in WA.......

I watched a program recently on a tagged great white that started in South Africa,cruised up through the Sehchelles,went down to the Maldives then swam about 500ks under Indonesia across to the NW/Exmouth then down the coast around Cape lewin...across the great Aussie bight,went thru Bass straight up the east coast to the Great barrier reef ,turned around and the transmission was lost in Bass straight....

My point is we used to think GWS 's were territorial when in fact they travel enormous distances.....from SA to the GBR......science has since disproved this.

we need a lot more scientific research and evidence before we just start randomly culling GWS.

In the 60's I was at Warrnambool beach when there was a shark attack that claimed a life...grey nurse sharks were blamed and the following slaughter was horrendous.....then OOPS it wasn't a grey nurse it was found out many years later it was a GWS.....

Another point is when you get into a car you accept there is a chance you could die in an accident......same as surfing....how many people have died in car accidents in the SW in the last 2 years.....and we accept whatever the figure is because....???

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reecen commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 4:29pm
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mtown commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 4:41pm

The number of attacks dosent demand any action.how many people use the ocean in wa and how many die is not really an issue at all. Sad for the fallen who have been eaten. Tom and the board riders don't speak for all the surfers in the sw. His comments are not very smart. It is arrogant to assume your "right" to surf is the main purpose of the ocean.if sharks where growing legs and marching into the gas car park and killing people that would be a different story.
Tom and his mates who are scared can stay in the car park till they feel safe.
More waves for me. I have never seen a white but if one dose take me i accept that.even if it is the most terrifying thing.

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uplift commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 5:01pm

We noticed the effect tuna farming had on pointers. Before that, it was common for the fisherman to fish, then pull up at blacks, and other places on the way back, anchor and surf. Sometimes on the way out too. It happened for years and years and no one thought anything of it. Then the farm workers started telling us about how the sharks started acting around them, re boats, checking people out working on the rings, feeding, divers, etc. Around the same time the fisherman in Elliston noticed that their boats were being followed for long distances, and they couldn't risk leading the sharks back to blacks, so started coming in a different way. Their boats had sharks around them much, much more of the time. None of them moor and surf off the boat anymore. Sharks used to have to be burlied up, now the sound of a motor does the same job, its basic conditioning, like banging the dogs or cats bowl. Or tapping on the aquarium at feed time. In the end, the fish see the shape of a person and head in for a feed. There are truckloads of chum going into the water daily for months, from past Ceduna, to in the gulf past Lincoln.

The workers have to be carefull what they say, as naturally the industry doesn't want a bar of it. But they have some awesome footage of heaps of sharks, and the guys get fully eyeballed by them. I think that, the cage viewing in South Africa as well, has made them more interested in us. The amasing South African guy admitted he changed their behaviour dramatically. Who has more knowledge of pointers than him? Jump in and go for a swim with him if you reckon you do. It was hilarious watching our 'expert', who just happened to run a cage charter, when he met that guy. 'Expert', who me,? I'll just hide down here in the bottom of the boat while you pat them and order them around'.

Plus, all the commercial fisherman used to totally hammer them, daily. Its really different now on several fronts.

Regarding:

'Is it ok to kill an innocent creature to allow us to have more fun?'

We do it relentlessly. Everytime we clear a track, a block, a footy ground, whatever we do. Scrub? Nah, its a Megaplex now? Its become the hallmark of our culture. Just to have this discussion means wholesale destruction of innocent creatures. Who me? I save them. In me new fourby. Only drink organic juices too.

We could've learned so much from the Indigenous Australians. 60,000 -100,000 years of continual cultural success. No other culture even gets close. 300 is looking pretty grim.

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kerry1 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 5:02pm

Dusk and Dawn is a myth. In the 42 years I have been surfing I have surfed so many times before sunrise and surfed in the dark. NO SHARKS! As for Killer Whales I would love one as a pet! hahahhaa! Had a physical experience with one, God! About 5 years ago down the far south coast of NSW. The Orca surfaced about 7 metres from me there were about 5 of them. I shit myself and decided topaddle to shore, but to my astonishment he or she swam under my board and I could see it was looking at me. They swam off, and I was shaking so much I felt like I was dancing. Since then I have a beautiful big black and white Orca tattooed on my right shoulder which reads OCEAN LIFE. In other words leave the Sharks alone. As long as we humans use their backyard there are always going to be attacks whether fatal or not. There is no real solution to preventing Shark Attacks, except don't go in the water! AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO DO THAT!

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sypkan commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 5:20pm

we accept the figure because cars are dangerous and there are lots of stupid drivers. there are lots of stupid drivers because nearly everyone drives. nearly everyone does not surf ( in a dedicated way) and that's why being hit by a car is a useless statistic, as others have pointed out.

count the number of people stupid enough to go in the water at cactus over a ten year period and the number of attacks, then count the number of people using Manly beach and the number of attacks and you will find some very different statistics, and you will find all that shit we tell ourselves about cars and bee stings to feel better about being in the water is unfounded crap, as is the dated advice from government as fitzroy pointed out.

what is clear is we fish all the little stuff and exclusively protect the great whites, (im pretty ignorant but the fish shop menu show me we fish small sharks too?) 'that has to lead to an imbalance and I dont think we need 30 years of 'empirical evidence' or whatever you science dudes are waiting for to know that.

Like southey i used to be a nature boy who blindly preached and supported the left or the green point of view but as you get older you realise nearly the whole world has been manipulated by man in some way or another, and fish/shark numbers have also been seriously manipulated by man and well intentioned policies. these policies seem to have made sharks a resource that needs managing not just protecting for the sake of protecting.

allowing fishos to catch within 5 kms of shore as suggested above seems like a reasonable thing to do. it doesn't have to be cull or dont cull, surely there is middle ground.

did anyone see the abc documentary about the 3m white pointer tracker then went up to 26 degrees for a long period of time? ie. 3m swallowed by something bigger, I missed most of it but interesting documentary

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 5:14pm

Anybody seen those GT stripped wetties that Radiator are selling? Interesting film clip.
https://radiator.net/shark-deterrent-surf/
http://www.cnet.com.au/aussies-design-shark-proof-wetsuits-339344936.htm

simba's picture
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simba commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 5:32pm

To me the only way is to come up with a shark repellent,something that can be rubbed into the bottom of your board ,feet and legs.Im sure there would be something in nature that could be replicated that would deterr sharks.They have proven that stripes help deterr sharks cause many poisonous creatures have stripes as a warning to beware.More reaserch is needed.

simba

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reecen commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 5:47pm

I think they did the whole striped wetsuit on a dummy thing a long time ago and it still got munched on.
If these things are hungry they eat just about anything in front of them, if they don't like it they spit it out, which often is too late for whatever it was they didn't like. Realistically I don't think there is much chance of an effective repellant or deterrent being developed.
Either don't go in the water or grab onto as many possible theories that apparently minimize your chances of getting eaten and hope that it makes you feel more comfortable in the water.
Or waste a few of the big ones and hope you got the one that was going to eat you and that you don't upset karma and end up being stung by a irikandji because of your wanton destruction of sharks.
Like a couple of the others I used to be a massive advocate of not touching them but now I would be quite happy to watch a couple of big ones explode with a dive tank in their mouths.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 5:56pm

On the moral question: I think uplift is close to the money.

To be a modern human being living in a western democracy with anything like a modern life is to cause the death and destruction of innocent creatures on an industrial scale.

How the fuck dya think the computer your typing on came into existence? The car you drive, appliances in your home, food you eat etc etc blah, blah, blah.

There's no moral position here that doesn't suffocate in it's own hypocrisy with a moments consideration.

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braithy commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 6:36pm

freeride76 wrote: On the moral question: I think uplift is close to the money.

To be a modern human being living in a western democracy with anything like a modern life is to cause the death and destruction of innocent creatures on an industrial scale.

How the fuck dya think the computer your typing on came into existence? The car you drive, appliances in your home, food you eat etc etc blah, blah, blah.

There's no moral position here that doesn't suffocate in it's own hypocrisy with a moments consideration.

Shearer, what you are talking about are polar opposite things.

On one hand, you are talking about collateral damage by an ever expanding world. The Pollution & resulting death & destruction from making plastic, steel, silicone etc which one day becomes the computer you earn a living on at home, or makes the car or bus you use to travel to work from is one thing. That is an inevitable part of progression, population and industrialisation of the world

Killing sharks so we can have a bit of fun and shoot the curl, is a complete and utter other thing.

One, it could be argued for, is essential. The other is a hobby and pure escapism.

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southey commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 11:08pm

So in this day and age of Human inactivity , obesity , vitamin defiencies .... etc .

Surfing becomes the hobby and pure escapism ,
and computers via forums such as this or computer games , facebook and the like where avatars are encouraged . Is the essential ...... ?

I'm lost .... save me .! semantics ?

We ourselves totally disrupt nature by actually not participating in it or relying on it for food sources .
Our exclusion of or take from such things , is / can be just as disruptive as not . Any change has a consequence for better or worse . That is nature .
Velocityjohnno pointed that out .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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mtown commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 6:46pm

All of your comments about human behaviour and our history to justify killing awesome creatures is interesting and can be used for any cause.
You guys just sound plain scared. Which is fine because whites are scary.
But our need to go play in the ocean isent really that important. I think a lot of us surfers forget that.i have dedicated all of my life to the ocean but at the end of the day it's not really that important to go for a surf. My need to get barrelled would not make me kill a 20 foot white I'd much rather watch it.
I surf all over wa by myself all the time.from cape arid to exmouth and rotto.
Sometimes I watch pumping waves breaking and I don't go out for awhile or at all. because I know that I could get eaten. That is the risk you take.
If you guys carnt handle your own fear don't paddle out ,which Unfortunatly happens sometimes.

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freeride76 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 7:03pm

Slippery slope argument Braithy.

Humans need a plasma in every room?

Suburban soccer mums need to drive 4WD's?

Aircon in every house?

9/10's of a modern humans' existence is very far from essential, yet we rape, plunder pillage and murder for it.

Humans have always worked, lived and played in the ocean. To try and make an argument that this is somehow of lesser import than owning iphones and plasmas is nonsensical.

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braithy commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 7:44pm

freeride76 wrote: Slippery slope argument Braithy.

Humans need a plasma in every room?

Suburban soccer mums need to drive 4WD's?

Aircon in every house?

9/10's of a modern humans' existence is very far from essential, yet we rape, plunder pillage and murder for it.

Humans have always worked, lived and played in the ocean. To try and make an argument that this is somehow of lesser import than owning iphones and plasmas is nonsensical.

I'm not talking about our personal choices. I'm not even talking about sustainability. You know I live pretty simply, just as I know you do too (even moreso).

What I am talking about, is ... you nor I, will not stop the machine of progress and industrialisation and consumerism. Animals, land, trees etc will be killed in it's (progression's) crossfire. Not intentionally hunted down and destroyed. But killed as part of the collateral of an expanding population, and that population's as a whole desire and need to own stuff.

Culling sharks so we can play in the ocean, is essentially the height of human controlling and selfishness. We would be killing sharks before we know the outcome. Before we'd even know if it's going to stop the deaths happening. And we would be doing it to feel good about ourselves and to feel safer while we indulge in a non-essential hobby.

Hypothetically. If we were to say cull every shark in WA over 3 metres like Innes suggested.

What would then happen if over the next 3-4 years we had another 2 or 3 attacks?

5 or 6 attacks?

another 10 attacks?

What would we do then?

We would probably go back to the drawing board and understand what it is exactly we were doing, and better research why culling was having no effect on shark attacks.

We should do the research now, not arm jerk reactions to answering death with more death. And until then we put and shut up if we choose to enter the ocean. It is a choice we make.

Then hypothetically, if the suits come back and say something like;

yes, we need to cull every shark between 3 and 5 metres, but leave the big grand daddy's out there because they police a territory and are actually beneficial to keeping white numbers down in a certain area.

Well then we can open the debate about killing sharks and how we might justify it.

If we did kill sharks right now because we're scared, we're nothing more than a lynch mob running around in the dark bumping into shit.

reecen's picture
reecen's picture
reecen commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 7:19pm

Greg Pickering was working when he got bitten, not playing. The guys working in the ocean I would imagine wouldn't be calling for a cull, they wouldn't be working in their if they didn't have the nerve, otherwise every dive would be torture.

I guess the crowds will be reduced for a short time after each attack, and tourists may just reconsider there desire to come surf W.A.

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/twotime-shark-victim-g...

mtown's picture
mtown's picture
mtown commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 7:26pm

Talking about iPhones? Plasmas?
I'm not going to suger coat it for you "free bitch" your a fool.
If you are scared don't surf pretty simple.
Funny old mate who got bit on the head who works in the ocean dosent seem to want to kill them all. Not sure about people always "living in the ocean"haven't bumped into any ocean people in my travels.
You really do just sound scared which is a normal thing to feel. Easyest thing you can do is pick your sessions and if ya times up free bitch to fucking bad.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 7:59pm

Mtown, ever tried basic comprehension fuckhead? Or is that too much for the lone brain cell rattling your head.

I didn't suggest shark culling.

But the arguments being used against it, and to try and avoid attacks, particularly by WA fisheries, are meaningless and hypocritical.

I don't feel any particular fear surfing here, but when the mullet are running I'll keep clear of dirty water. Been bumped plenty of times. Seen bull sharks lined up like school girls at a One Direction concert when the river is in flood.

I've worked commercial fishing boats in the Gulf and off WA coast. Sharks become habituated to food sources from humans very quickly. Any pro fisherman will tell you that. They follow boats. I haven't seen one mention of that in any of the scientific literature being presented. It's anecdotal but obviously exists.

If that is what is happening in any way in SWWA .ie greater numbers of large whites becoming habituated and attracted to humans then there is a case for action.

It seems like a hypothesis that isn't being properly investigated.

I'm with Braithy though, this is part of a conversation, not a lynch mob baying for blood.

fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21's picture
fitzroy-21 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 8:49pm

freeride76 wrote: Any pro fisherman will tell you that. They follow boats. I haven't seen one mention of that in any of the scientific literature being presented. It's anecdotal but obviously exists.

You're on the money freeride. As a commercial & charter skipper for the last 20yrs, that is a fact.

uplift's picture
uplift's picture
uplift commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 8:12pm

Believe it or not, there are other ways to live which the evidence shows are much more environmentally, and culturally successful and sustainable than ours. Some Cultures dont even have a word for work... bludgers! Indigenous Australians were doing exceptionally well, better than anyone ever, until only a couple of hundred years ago, and had been for somewhere between 60,000 - 100,000 years. Our lifestyle is not a necessity, but a conditioned choice. And part of that choice is the wholesale destruction of the environment. The two groups have totally opposite goals. One has the runs on the board, the other has a shit load of self created, ever growing, 'necessary' problems.

The argument of it being a no no to cull sharks, but ok to wipe out everything else, because that's 'necessary', can easily be shown to be false. 200 years isn't a very long time.

I guess the argument could be paraded that Indigenous Australians weren't as successful as us, because they didn't practise wholesale annihilation of other cultures, and we could claim superiority as the culture that oblitherated the most successful Cultures ever.

But we saved the sharks...for God's sake.

mtown's picture
mtown's picture
mtown commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 8:16pm

My poor gramer and spelling changes none of the content of my posts I don't use a computer very often. . You are calling for a cull it very easy to see in your comments so far. Don't shy away from your points even if it is a foolish one. Stand behind what you say and don't try and bend it saying you are walking the line down the middle. You also sound a bit parinoid putting all the little bits here and there together oh my god the sharks know where I live to!Your a scared fool free bitch. Plasmas and iPhones great points.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 8:25pm

No, it doesn't change the content of your posts, it just shows you to be a fucking idiot who's incapable of understanding the written word.

They got this thing called school MTown. You should think about going back and finishing Primary. It might help you out. They teach all this useful stuff about literacy , you know understanding what is written and responding in a meaningful manner.

You probably haven't needed it so far, but you should consider it.

mtown's picture
mtown's picture
mtown commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 8:38pm

All you can do is respond with silly insults and anger about going back to school.like I said stand behind your comments. I think you understand the points I have made.
Like I said you sound scared.you are the one calling every one Hippocrates for wanting not to kill sharks but owning plasmas and iPhones. Your anger in your posts show you understand exactually what I have said. Also if you get your advice on how to stay away from sharks from wa fisherys good luck. Ha ha ha.

mtown's picture
mtown's picture
mtown commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 8:43pm

Also a lot of successfully people are illiterate or have very bad gramer but ill start a new topic for that one free bitch so you can come on and comment.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 8:51pm

"you are the one calling every one Hippocrates for wanting not to kill sharks but owning plasmas and iPhones."

That might be the dumbest thing ever written on the internet. But it made me laugh out loud. Good one MTown, you've taken the conversation into unexpectedly fertile grounds.

Scared? Few solo paddles across the Seaway on dark or dawn when the trawlers were coming in rattled me. I don't paddle the Richmond anymore unless its super clear. I checked North Wall when Big Pete got chomped in Apr, 2008. No-one out, deep gutter and back bar, mullet running, tide about to run out and bring heaps of dirty water from a river running fresh. Decided against it. I was suiting up in the carpark at Sharps when my wife rang and gave me the news. I belayed that go-out.
Otherwise, I surf as normal.
Not sure how I'd be feeling in SWWA right now.
Thanks for the concern though.

the-spleen's picture
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the-spleen commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 9:05pm

Great comments thread till MTown hopped aboard. Only thing worse than a fool is a fool who thinks he's got game.

sunshine's picture
sunshine's picture
sunshine commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 9:10pm

. KwaZuluNatalSharksBoard spent over20 years developing a way to reduce personal risk by about80% . sure, you could reduce that risk by100% but jeez Bru,a mans gotta surf !

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 9:12pm

Mtown, take a deep breath and calm down,everybodies worried and rightfully so and you would be a fool not to admit it also everybodies entitled to their opinion whether you like it or not.

simba

mtown's picture
mtown's picture
mtown commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 9:15pm

Just summing up your comments relating to me and the other person saying don't kill sharks because you don't need to surf then you comparing the whole evolution in technology and what we have destroyed to gain plasmas and iPhones that we don't need so that is a simplified sentence of you calling hipocracy on us all. So yes it is one of the stupidest things said on the Internet which Is the point I was trying to make so thank you for pointing that out. Don't understand how I have taken it to new ground?
You think your smart free bitch but I think people can see through your "perfect grammar" and your argument.my spelling and comprehension is bad I know.
I can see some benefit from sharks as it keeps people like you away.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 9:20pm

Alright mate, you win.

I'll back away from the computer and "stay away" if you promise to go back on your meds before you get online again.

mtown's picture
mtown's picture
mtown commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 9:31pm

Not sure I need meds because I disagree with your point.
Glad I won I the end. I am a winner yay, see spleen.
See ya down south.

kerry1's picture
kerry1's picture
kerry1 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 9:38pm

Hello!! Is anyone home?? Everyone is getting off the track here. As I said previously, As long as we all partake in some sort of activity in the ocean there will always be shark attacks. They have been and evolved on earth longer than us humans and it is their backyard their rice bowl. Nobody can do anything about it. Nothing will work. Just get on with surfing and if you are taken so be it! Orcas, Great Whites I love them they are Majestic Animals.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 9:38pm

You know, after all that huffing and puffing and incoherent deadshittery you didn't actually make a point.

http://www.learningrx.com/reading-help-for-adults-faq.htm

There ya go. Thank me later.

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kerry1 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 9:43pm

I'll say 2 months minimum and I bet we see another attack! I hope I am wrong!

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 9:46pm

Based on what?

reecen's picture
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reecen commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 9:46pm

Ha ha ha ha
mtown is either the stereotypical, dreadlocked, bad teeth, bong brained camp fire imbecile, or he knows freebitch and has him hook line and sinker.
Which ever one you are BRAVO sir you are doing a fantastic job.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 9:50pm

I think Mtown is for real.

You can't pretend to be that dumb.

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shoredump commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 9:49pm

To say because we destroy life through our plastic progression means we should be able to kill sharks so we can relax in the ocean, is not the answer. The answer is we should not kill sharks, & we should improve our plastic progression so it does not destroy life either.
It's the nature of the universe that every step you take, & every breath you take, you destroy millions of micro-organisms. You can't over think that sort of shit though.
It's about intent, I think.

mtown's picture
mtown's picture
mtown commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 9:52pm

I made points, surfing is not important so don't kill sharks so you can surf. Also Tom dosent speak for all the surfers In the sw ,which I have read(just)on here is the "coal face". I'm glad you will never surf here because of your fear ,free bitch. Have fun surfing your "awesome "northwall ! .peace out.

shoredump's picture
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shoredump commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 9:56pm

Kill a shark we know has killed a human? - sure.
Kill a shark to eat it? - absolutely, who's cooking?
But to kill a shark that has just cruised down from the Maldives while the one that ate the surfer moves on to Bass Straight is just a cruel pointless act.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 10:01pm

I've surfed over there alot MTown. Love WA. I'll be back.

Glad to hear surfing isn't important to you. Guess that means you'll be quitting eh?

This fear you keep speaking of: sure it isn't your own you're projecting onto someone else?

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southey commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 10:09pm

" gee that really got out of hand , really fast " ( R.Burgundy) .

slow monday i see . ( Ben , Craig & Stu does this put me on the payroll now ;-0 )

I can't believe I'm about to type these words , :-
" I agree with Uplift " , ggrrrrrr ,
leaves a bad taste in my mouth and my hands / fingers are aching and shaking uncontrollably .
But . .....
( i may have indigenous blood in my heritage , not that it matters or could i prove it , but it dispells any notion that my point is derogative )
A. the aboriginal / koori race in my opinion are one and have one of the closest bonds with Their land , but the facts are that isolation was their best friend . To their North were further primitives that had enough issues dealing with the intense tropics , and an even more laid back approach . And to my knowledge the polynesian - maori 's never ventured further west than perhaps Lord Howe Island . With the only deterents that come to mind being regular ECL's & Southerly busters and not to mention ECC ontop of hostiles to turn them back at the end of such a long voyage played against a successful attempt ???

B. uplift didn't manage to fit some sort of connection to powerlifts etc etc ...
This notion makes some of the above mentioned by uplift not as " idealyc " ,
apart from that i whole heartedly agree ....

Still we cannot turn back time , we must stop this Black and White arguement and find the Grey shades . ( settle down girls , no mention of Christian ) .

Anyway i feel that some sort of action is needed , though i wouldn't even support what some have suggested being a 5km licence or whatever . With commercialism involved , ethics are too easily thrown out the window , and for commercial gain or to make it viable the entire coast would be lathered in chum to get there catch .
Only the governments official on each boat , calling the shots of which the fisherman got coin for results at agreed method and renumeration .

I don't know what " IT " is as its not my expertise , but IT needs to be selective , it needs to be seasonal and it needs to be confined to an area to maintain clear results .

I know , I know they are " roaming " , but just like in sanctuaries fish learn to know where they are safe .... (fuck it used to frustrate the hell out of me , rec. fishing in numerous spots) .
Then , say we need to herd all the things that some of
" the OUTWARDLY harder edge sort of guys with Green blinkers on " and what they like about the ocean and its risks ( whales , seals , penguins , turtles , dolphins etc etc ) and you guys can be in the " control group " , so we introduce a few of these to a known hotspot Reunion Island perhaps , nah fuck it make it the NE East coast of Madagascar . Then we can get some real data to chew on .... ooops my bad , Pun intended .
Anyway , i see exclusion of control as a non answer and no amount of argument is going to change that in my eyes . Like many others , NOT surfing is a real health problem for me , mental health that is ( and yes it is mostly psychological , and i'm refering to not surfing , as opposed to having an issue or being scared of sharks ) . It shows in the varied ( some say [ especially family ] , stupid ) spots and times i've surfed alone , that it doesn't stop me and many others here , but we are not everyone ......

Could someone please with more time on their hands construct a real ratio of drivers to surfers and fatalities , and make it fit the target region , as at the moment
( and hopefully this issue doesn't spread ) we are only targeting SWA .

lastly ( apologies freeride ; i always like to categorise the NW of WA as NWA [ respect ] , hence my incorrect SWA , ;-) )

Its been a great read , and even better being involved , may it continue without childish humour . ooop s my bad sorry Uplift . ;-)

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

uplift's picture
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uplift commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 10:31pm

You have nothing to worry about Southy, once again, that's not funny in the slightest.

It has long been shown that Traditional Indigenous Australians traded with and had contact with many cultures, but didn't adopt things that they deeply understood were not beneficial to their way of life, as custodians, and part of their mother, the environment.

Why would adopting more successful techniques been seen as a step backwards?

southey's picture
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southey commented Monday, 2 Dec 2013 at 10:52pm

uplift , i'm sorry my humour is lacking . And your strength , balance and aim is askew .
I was pointing out that the longevity of our custodians was heightened by the lack of foe . I would fear if the Polynesians for want of a need , had to move west . Or Europeans weren't the first culture to realise the wealth/ monetary or possesion of Natural resources , ( well, whats buried beneath ) , and it took what would have to be seen as alien skill for these strange white skinned fully clothed men to reach their isolation , which had been an inheritance since the end of the last ice age .

This still doesn't change that we agree .... do you feel uncomfortable .... ehhe

Mtown .
2 quotes from myself , one a bit further back in the thread . Perhaps the words
" back catalogue " are familiar when rating bands ....

" So if he [ sic : Tom I ] leads a group of like minded individuals , that feel the balance is askew or that something needs to be done . Then as the local " custodians " I support their view .
***And I know they don't represent the entire population in The respective area .***"

and

" My point was that these guys ( MR BR ) atleast some of them
are at the coal face on this . And people in this thread have tried
To make them out as mindless nature destroyers . "

There is clear inference there that they don't speak for everyone ......

thankyou .

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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sypkan commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 12:40am

not sure about surfing being escapism, its a lifestyle choice, like driving a car, which according to scientists is killing the planet, yet most scientists still drive cars. anyone who contributes to swellnet has a lifestyle that is unsustainable "stealing" from future generations, I think that is more up the selfish scale than taking out a few sharks.

i think the plasma tv argument is relevant, nearly everyone living in a western democracy has a lifestyle that is unsustainable, yet we pick and choose our environmental arguments , especially surfers, while we all gallivant across the planet looking for waves, living one of the most unsustainable lives on the planet. That mick free character must have a carbon footprint comparable to a small nation.

Mike Moore says he doesnt recycle, he doesnt see the point, saying is just a token gesture to make us feel better about over-consuming lifestyles without actually changing anything that matters. I do recycle, a bit, but I also agree with Moore, surfers make surfing reserves ( a noble cause) heavily embedded with CO2 debt claiming our green credentials then drive 8 hours for a surf, if half of what the climate scientists say is true, that is one seriously selfish act.

apparently if you eat tim tams you are killing orang-uitans through deforestation , is that a lifestyle choice as morally reprehensible as culling sharks? I think so, give up the tim tams!

My need to get barrelled would not make me kill a 20 foot white I'd much rather watch it.""" mtown

Me too mtown!! but luckily there are these crazy tough guys out there that are more than happy to kill sharks, and who am I to dictate to them whats right and wrong, let them buy permits to hunt like they do in africa and pump the money into research

timmeh's picture
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timmeh commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 12:25am

Talking about stats, hey Stu- whats the average thread length before things turn nasty? Has there ever been a forum where someone hasn't been called a "fuckhead" (Freeride76, 2013) or similar??
This is definitely a 1st world problem, if we were a developing country the sharks would have been extinct decades ago!

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 7:53am

timmeh wrote: Talking about stats, hey Stu- whats the average thread length before things turn nasty? Has there ever been a forum where someone hasn't been called a "fuckhead" (Freeride76, 2013) or similar?? This is definitely a 1st world problem, if we were a developing country the sharks would have been extinct decades ago!

Funny you mention that Timmeh, as it's a project I've been woring on. Here's the average thread length before each emotional benchmark is reached:

First sign of agitation: 5.7 posts
Anger rising: 7.2 posts
Lightly exasperated: 8.3 posts
Heavily exasperated: 13 posts
Breathlessly exasperated: 14.2 posts
Cant-talk-can-only-type exasperated: 15.9 posts
You're a fuckhead!: 17.1 posts

And no, there's never been a thread where someone wasn't called a fuckhead. On a sidenote, Freeride gets this week's Keating award for calling Mtown's work "incoherent deadshittery". 

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timmeh commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 9:09am

Haha classic! Its funny how worked up people get on their keyboards.... I'm sure there is someone out there doing a PhD on this sort of emotion.
Freeride was on fire last night. I was pissing myself reading through the thread. I couldn't quite figure out what the other "fuckhead" was really on about, but I'm guessing I wasn't alone there!

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LKG commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 4:40am

There's people on here that are saying stuff like "if your scared, don't surf", well, I am scared. I have two little kids and I live in the SW of WA, which 90% of the people posting on here don't.
Its all very well being all zen and leave the sharks, but its not happening at your beach.

I don't want to kill them all, but I want a better solution than what we have. If this amount of attacks happened on the Gold coast, or even Torquay, there would be a national summit.
In fact the recent attack on Chris Boyd barely rated a post in any major newspaper and wasn't even mentioned on most of the surf sites.
Yet the poor lad who got attacked in Coffs harbour has been all over the news. I am not down playing his tragic loss one bit, but trying to point out the problem seems a lot more real when it is a bit closer to home for the majority of the country.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 6:05am

Yeah, sorry for losing the plot at Mtown last night.

Two parking fines and a toothache, with the prospect of getting royally reamed at the dentist bought on "the fear", with a desire to strike back.
Any chance we could organise a cull on dentists?

pd's picture
pd's picture
pd commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 8:00am

Humans are definitely a classic breed, arent we a little twisted....it seems we truly forget where we come from... with our necessities these days to survive such as social media, internet at our finger tips, coffee machines, iphones etc etc we forget that if you strip us down, we are just a part of the universal food chain or hierarchy in the animal kingdom, just like every breed of shark, dog, tiger, cat and mouse etc etc. Does it all boil down to humans controlling the world as we think it is, or the way we think it should be, if you have ever seen another animal kill another animal for food or pleasure youll agree that the one doing the killing doesn't have remorse or sorrow or a fear of wiping out that particular race/breed...... then why as humans have we taken that on? maybe our sophisticated brain or as we believe it is has lead us to believe that by being so gentle and ignoring our animal instincts we are a far more superior race.. in the end we are animals right? Im just putting that out there because I think we have lost touch of what and who we are, lets just check but if something wants to eat or harm me, im going to do my best to stop it and if that means killing it, so be it!! along with the likes of if something eats or harms my child or friend id like to kill that thing also. We certainly didn't get the brawn in our animal kingdom, we got the brain but have we used it to delude ourselves?
Any politician or person who turns around and says that shark numbers havnt increased are delusional.. how possibly can a species that hasn't been hunted in excess of what is it 10 yrs and sits atop its own environmental food chain, not expand considerably in numbers, its that simple. People keep questioning if numbers of sharks have increased or is it the vast increase of human activity in the ocean but reality surely should prevail. One point that is touched upon but not enough is the food source, whales are in abundance along the state during this time and surely adding to the fact that they are more numerous nowdays as whaling has ceased, this creates a bigger scale of food source to follow. Having more whales in the equation they are definitely closer to the coast than ever before and as for the seals, seal colonies havn't been in places in the south west as they are now.
Its a hard subject, I acknowledge this and whatever the outcome no one will or not everyone will be satisfied, no politician will want to allow a so called cull under their leadership, no active sea shepherd activist or local naturalist will want a single beast slayed but on the turn many a surfers, divers, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters wives etc etc would genuinely feel a little bit more relaxed if something a bit more pro active was done other than the government telling u when, where and what time of the day you should enter the ocean and how their tagging of whites and study of their behavioural patterns is going to save your life... Lastly, lets at least pretend to be a bit realistic we don't live in such a beautiful harmonic world where all of us animals interact perfectly, in this animal kingdom really what is mightier the brains or the brawn?

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 9:25am

"many a surfers, divers, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters wives etc etc would genuinely feel a little bit more relaxed if something a bit more pro active was done other than the government telling u when, where and what time of the day you should"

True enough pd but the issue is what that something might be. And then, assuming that there was an effective strategy, who will fund it? Surfers might calculate their proportional risk, but governments look at absolute numbers. Why would they spend money on a problem which leads to the loss of a few lives per year in the worst of circumstances when they have issues like road accidents, work place accidents, drug abuse, criminal violence and so on which cost many more lives? The reality is that this is something people have to live with. If you choose to live in a high risk area no-one can protect you from that risk and whatever others might suggest, ultimately it is your individual problem, you cannot pass it off to government or anyone else.

asharper001's picture
asharper001's picture
asharper001 commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 9:45am

I remember watching a documentary on differerent ways to repel sharks and there was mention of a common ingredient found in shampoo that deterred sharks. Of course it was easier to test on baby lemon sharks in a laboratory tank than big sharks in the ocean. I went searching the internet and found the article below which mentions testing these same chemicals on large white sharks (tagged off South Australia no less), as well as the afore mentioned lemon sharks. It seems there were some positive results on this front.

There is a difference however between the documentary and the internet article. In the documentary the chemical was put into the water at a distance from the shark but in the vicinity of the bait, however the internet article talks of squirting directly in the face of the shark. One would hope that you didn't get that close in the first place.

If it can be confirmed that a shark will not enter a certain radius of the chemical (and not have to actually squirt the shark in the face) and if there was a way to impregnate or infuse these chemicals into a wetsuit/board shorts/swimwear perhaps this might be the way to go to keep all parties (human and shark) safe and happy.

http://www.elasmo-research.org/education/white_shark/deterrents.htm

trolleyboy's picture
trolleyboy's picture
trolleyboy commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 10:20am

The lemon shark?! What kind of name is that??

braithy's picture
braithy's picture
braithy commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 10:27am

trolleyboy wrote: The lemon shark?! What kind of name is that??

More of a man lover, rather than a man eater. He's a gay little fellow that kisses and hugs you to death while you slowly drown. One of the worst ways you could possibly go, imo...

sunshine's picture
sunshine's picture
sunshine commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 10:25am

finally some sanity.youre correct Asharper,the chemical isSodiumLaurylSulphate and is found in cheap shampoo and some imported soaps. it has been banned in some countries i think. i have used this for years and am happy to report it has worked ONE HUNDREDPERCENT of the time. hey,that makes it more effective than a sharkshield ;]

Karo70's picture
Karo70's picture
Karo70 commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 10:41am

It wouldn't be fail safe but might buy you an extra few seconds or minutes. Paint or draw eyes or an eye on bottom of your surf craft. In my experience, if any predator knows it's being watched, it may be a little tentative to strike at first sight. This simple method has been employed by surfers in South Australia for some years. It's not much but may help, it's easy & cheap. Good luck & eyes peeled...

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 10:47am

These substances reduce the surface tension of the water making it.......slippery!

asharper001's picture
asharper001's picture
asharper001 commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 11:08am

blindboy wrote: These substances reduce the surface tension of the water making it.......slippery!

Yes, I was wondering about that part myself when it comes to surfing. Obviously not very good for the wax job. Hopefully some clever person out there in science world might be able to solve this issue.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 11:02am

Four pages of comments and barely any mention of Shark Shields. What about the surfers from WA, is anyone considering buying one?

braithy's picture
braithy's picture
braithy commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 12:06pm

stunet wrote:

Four pages of comments and barely any mention of Shark Shields. What about the surfers from WA, is anyone considering buying one?

True story. I used one with Shieldsy. We chummed up some water off that deep bombie off straddie in his rubber zodiac.

I put the shark shield on. It fitted well, but felt way to cumbersome to surf in. I jumped overboard to see what would happen.

I'll tell you what happened. I got electrocuted. Repeatedly.

I figured shark attack would actually be a nice alternative to the shark shield.

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mickj commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 12:04pm

Yeah ditto Braithy ... only time I've used one it went zap regularly, one guy turned his off cos he thought his teeth were gonna fall out haha

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mickj commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 12:02pm

Hey Stu ... never seen anyone surf with one over here, only divers. I helped a mate do a night crossing from Rotto back to Cott in Oct last year (he swum - first and only person to ever do it at night - and we paddled in support) and we had em on then but that was it.

The Shark Shield guys (also based here in WA) are shopping round an improved product for surfers but it's expensive ($500+) per board and to be honest, don't think anyone really believes they'd stop a GW intent on taking a bite.

May help keep the wives and girlfriends happier though, pretty sure plenty of us have been hit up about not surfing certain spots these last 2 weeks ... I know I sure have haha.

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stunet commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 12:30pm

mickj wrote: I helped a mate do a night crossing from Rotto back to Cott in Oct last year (he swum - first and only person to ever do it at night - and we paddled in support)

Reckon your mate might hold that record for a while, Mick.

I've tried one of the first gen Shark Shields but got buzzed repeatedly. The newer ones are *supposedly* better. You're right though, a Great White in full attack mode versus a four volt battery? The SS mob have got their marketing work cut out for them.

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fitzroy-21 commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 1:06pm

stunet wrote:

You're right though, a Great White in full attack mode versus a four volt battery? quote]

If I had a mobile 33kV substation attached, I might then have peace of mind from any decent sized shark in attack mode.

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garnget commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 11:13am

Karo i have heard similar theories of large sharks buzzing spearos only to leave after being eyeballed by the diver. I would also suggest it is not a great idea to piss in your wettie although such a warming feeling ,will attract sharks as sharks pick both urine and blood in the water as a sign of distress from a great distance.

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fitzroy-21 commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 11:15am

Heading/Risk – "How to prevent shark attacks."

From the hierarchy of controls.

Eliminate – Stay out of the water.
Substitute – Wave pools or similar.
Isolate - Stay out of the water.
Engineer – Net the entire break.
Administration – Train people to staying out of the water.
PPE – Wear a shark shield or similar.

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wellymon commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 4:56pm

Nice Risk Assessment Fitzy, well done, i hope you sign the JHA before you start having fun tho, the shark safety supervisor might come along and give you the pineapple haha :) I like the Administration approach, that's gold.

I've been tagging along for awhile, reading all the comments and its been interesting, although some rattle on.
My wife is against culling anything in the ocean, let alone for us humans to have fun and especially magnificent beats like the GW. Like I've said in another tread Iv'e only witnessed one shark in 30 years of surfing, although I haven't been in such shark infected waters like a lot of crew on this forum, but to say the least the majority of water that Iv'e surfed, is limited visibility. So there probably have been numerous sharks on numerous occasions with out even knowing , But I do keep my eyes open as some else said from above and I'm very aware.
Anyways a still agree (sorry to all you GW lovers)! that Vic was right and was doing something towards more provoked GW attacks. A lot of people say he's a clown etc a cow boy, but the number of missing people from swimming, windsurfing, water participants etc that have disappeared with no explanation is unbelievable. The thing with Vic he did catch big GW's to find human remains inside, only to be brushed away from the police (Govenment Offcials) etc, saying they were from a Kangaroo!
I haven't seen too many Kangaroo's surfing or swimming.
I'm on two side of this debate about culling etc, but I have too say scientists do get things wrong and are not always right.

One question I have to ask from anyone is, are sharks attracted to human blood more so! Someone else above has mentioned this before but there's been no prevail in answers.
Have these R.I.P victims had an open wound prior to being attacked..?(We would probably never know to tell you the truth).
I knew when I was a young tacker, when I was diving with the old man, as soon as I had a graze or cut I had to get out of the water quick smart, it was his lively hood though much respect. R.I.P

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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fitzroy-21 commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 5:03pm

Yeah Welly, I've still gotta do a SLAM/TAKE 5/STARRT CARD before I paddle out though!! :)

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wellymon commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 5:30pm

Really!, I suppose If your taking clients around on those reef's doing what ever, it's probably in the companies own interest for insurance and the likes.
I think that's good in away with your industry, it makes you stop and think about hazards that are there at the time i.e Rips, currents, tides, adverse weather, sharks, maybe drunk people:) who knows.
Hey thats awesome in my eyes.

One pun for ya have you surfed "Our" , "Quarry" "Diggings" apparently the pun to those who what they call it , the fithy right hander that breaks like P Pass?
I know a young shaper down here on the coast that hangs for it and has surfed it a few times, hard to get good with wind etc.

I'm sure you know where I mean Fitzy :)

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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fitzroy-21 commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 5:48pm

Hahaha, nah Welly I'm taking the piss. I used to do a bit of work in the mining industry in the off season from time to time. I'm pretty well my own boss and run my own show out here. Just run vessels for a few regular owners that that need a skipper. Pretty regular seasonal gigs.

And yes, I've posted links to photos of said reef on other forums here. When the planets align, we're on it, but lately so are quite a few from the GC these days. Word has got out, but there are many others just as good close by so I tend to sneek off quietly with a few mates.

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wellymon commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 9:42pm

Yeah nice one, keep it real Fitz :)

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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asharper001 commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 6:36pm

G'day Wellymon, part of that documentary I mentioned back on page 3 of this thread dealt with that very question about human blood as opposed to fish blood. They tested those same baby lemon sharks by doing the old shark invert thing (turning them upside down and doing something I can't quite remember puts them into a trance like state), then putting a few monitoring wires on them (checking brain activity, nerve impulse etc). They noted that when human blood was added to the water, there was hardly a blip of activity as to be almost imperceptible. However, When they put the tiniest drop of fish blood in the water, the activity was very sudden and very pronounced. Again, this was tested on baby sharks of one species. Not sure how they would go about testing big sharks of the Tiger/White or agressive Bull shark species to see if the results are different.

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wellymon commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 9:46pm

Thanks for the info Ash, much appreciated.

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

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asharper001 commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 11:29pm

No worries wellymon. Coincidentally just noticed that foxtel is running shark-week again (or at least some shows) at the moment. Hopefully they will replay the documentary I saw so I can get an episode name posted for those interested in tracking it down for a viewing.

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zenagain commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 11:17am

Maybe the substance above can be incorporated in a pill so that you take it prior to surfing?

When an oversize shark buzzes you, you'll be so petrified that you'll piss yourself (and maybe shit yourself) and the shark will swim away in disgust.

1173

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asharper001 commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 11:43am

I'm hoping not to get to the point of pissing and shitting myself until I'm 90 and losing my faculties.

Perhaps it can be applied to the underside of surfboards. Does slippery equate to less friction?

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garnget commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 11:52am

Probably depends on whether you had anchovies on your pizza the previous night, or anchovy breath from other diving activities.

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klm commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 12:00pm

Here's a solid scientific fact, if you go in the ocean you might get killed by the wild life. The debate should stop there.

All these people from SW WA saying that their opinion carries more weight is getting a bit old. Just because you live there doesn't make your opinion any more valid than anyone else's. I live in Coffs, it's sad what happened the other day, it will happen again eventually, but we're back out in the water.

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LKG commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 6:10pm

"All these people from SW WA saying that their opinion carries more weight is getting a bit old. Just because you live there doesn't make your opinion any more valid than anyone else's."

How does it not? Its our environment, if you have ever been there, you would know that nearly everyone is there because of the natural beauty of the place, when the first 10 attacks happened, no one was saying lets kill the sharks.
But people are getting fed up with being scared to go in the water.
Your right, it will happen again, but the chances of it happening in Coffs are a lot less than it happening in Gracetown, so its easy to be brave and say your back in the water, over this side crew are back surfing lefties also.

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reecen commented Tuesday, 3 Dec 2013 at 8:30pm

I don't trust this technology at all yet, but at least this one is designed with board riders in mind;
http://surfsafe.net.au/

it is a shaper from Perth that is funding the development himself I believe.

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LKG commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 at 4:29am

Yep, Dave at Katana surfboards is funding everything himself. He has applied to the state government for help, but they have ignored it. Instead throwing money at stripey wetsuits, which seem about as useful as those poisonous fish stickers that were designed for the bottom of surfboards.

I don't know if his product works, I am in no way affiliated with it, but the video footage seems credible, he has said he is continuing testing.
The actual price is very reasonable, he isn't trying to get rich, simply help out fellow surfers.

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inzider commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 at 7:35am

I would like to just say ( tongue in cheek) that the NZ fur seals coming over here are stealing the jobs of the OZ seals. Even the seals want an ozzie lifestyle.!! Secondly I believe opinions and dateholes are the one of the same, everybody has one but not every one wants to hear them.
However this subject raises peoples hackles in many different ways.
Here is my arsehole (I mean opinion) ,
I would like to draw a parallel with back country snowboarding and surfing sharky waters. You go back country knowing the risks of avalanche and the possibility of a brutal death, you enter the ocean and it is the same. We cant eliminate avalanches and we cant eliminate sharks. There have been times back country where I have turned around from beautiful steep and deep turns through not feeling right. There have been times in the ocean I have gone in or not gone out through bad gut feelings.
The moral of my story is trust your instincts it might just save your life.
Then you could have the attitude of a mate of mine after seeing a shark (in known great white territory just a few hundy metres from a seal colony) not far from the perfect barrels we were surfing by ourselves one new years day. " I'm going in I said" he said " I'm not , they know not to bite me". Balls or stupidity you decide.
Life is just one big roll of the dice and when we put ourselves out there at least we are giving life a good crack. Charge on my boardriding bretheren and lest we forget those who have perished pursuing happy times.

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groundswell commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 at 8:20am

In a way its hard to understand why white sharks are still protected. There are heaps of them around even on the east coast.
Seals are protected and there are heaps of them around too. The sharks that are a danger to us are 12 foot plus, not less, they eat singrays and such. At Stockton in Newcastle you see juvenile sharks swim beneath you but they dont even look twice in fact they try to stay away from you.

its the areas that start getting lots of seals like around Jervis bay you should think twice about a solo. Also the shape of the reef.
The volcanic rocks steepness seems to attract seals and white sharks, even port stephens which has warm water often has those real steep shaped volcanic rocks and sealsand all kinds of sharks yet sandstone reefs like shark island its sort of rare to see sharks.
Good surfing reefs in my view has the less steep shaped volcanic reefs. like bawley points which has the perfect sloped reef but ive never seen seals or sharks.

Saw two in one day once, two whites. One while pre dawn surfing aussie pipe knocked me off my board on a wave, the circled. Same day paddled in from green island across the pit and surfed the beach, wave behind one had a shark cruising through it.
At potholes near ulladulla surfing solo inco day a white shark whipped its tail at me.
All those times i was wearing a shiny silver watch surfing solo.
Yet they dont hang around in crowds it seems. If they thought we were seals wouldnt they be seen more often in crowds?

Completely disagree with stats like "more likely to die from bee sting".
Bee sting- well im not a beekeeper who is allergic to bees.
Everyone is allergic to sharks. All surfers surf alone sometimes at spots where sharks like to hang out. Those stats include people living in Alice Springs.

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Brother commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 at 10:13am

Letting others know where a large shark has been spotted helps. Chico said earlier "a large shark seen twice at a particular beach down here"..... How about letting others know exactly where to avoid or be informed about. Where exactly Chico?

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the-roller commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 at 11:03am

Noting the recent research of the differences in men and women,...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202161935.htm

how is it that that so many emotional men show up on the Swellnet message boards when something bites?....

Sharks vs dogs.

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/attacks/relariskdog.htm

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sypkan commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 at 12:26pm

dog vs sharks, is interesting reading, and a cute table, but has no relevance whatsoever

why do these science dudes keep quoting useless statistics, then dismiss anything that challenges their argument as anecdotal? (not u roller, these institutes and others)

they use flimsy evidence when it supports their case, then ask for empirical evidence objective truths if you challenge them. its one or the other

i thought objective truth was a dated concept anyway?

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rees0 commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 at 7:06pm

May be a little late for a sighting report but had a 3M+ noah swim beneath me and a friend last weekend. Water was clear but dark due to depth so unable to identify what species.

Big, Dark in colour on top and was mistaken for a rock formation at first glance. No mistake on second glance the biggest i have ever seen but such a beautiful and majestic creature i couldn't imagine harming something so amazing for doing what it's born to do.

Was only me and my friend surfing an isolated beach known for marine wildlife. Well aware of the risks involved, when those risks outweigh the reward i will stop surfing rather then destroy a creature of such beauty.

Humans are the cancer on this earth and ultimately will be responsible for our own demise, rather then stopping the action that leads to a consequence we would rather take the lives of innocent animals so that we can continue our selfish pursuit.

This was spotted Double island point Saturday before last. Large schools of baitfish were present further south on the same beach however these are very common and frequent.

It is rather simple in my eyes if you aren't prepared to risk attack everytime you step into the ocean don't surf.

If your not prepared to risk your childs life everytime they step into the ocean guess what..... don't let them.

Just because your from WA or anywhere else for that matter doesn't mean you have anymore of a right to take the life of an innocent creature. Perhaps you should visit one of the offshore islands close to me such as Fraser or North Stradbroke. Sightings of large sharks is very common. it is not just your region frequented by such special wildlife. Wherever there is ocean there is sharks.

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reecen commented Wednesday, 4 Dec 2013 at 8:14pm

Lucky for rees0 you don't have to worry about killing a shark and you can be safe in the knowledge that your government is doing it on a daily basis on your behalf.

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groundswell commented Thursday, 5 Dec 2013 at 12:14am

Reeso i agree to some degree. Actually like many i guess in the middle somewhere of indecisive.Just saying it might become in a few years like what happened with crocs in NT. There are so many of them now its ridiculous.
Surely we can be considered part of the food chain? I guess nobody likes the flavour of shark though.
How many crocs were there 100 years ago? were there more then than now?
How many sharks were there? Sydney sure has been fished out. You dont even hardly see stingrays any more. We sure are a scourge.

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thermalben commented Friday, 6 Dec 2013 at 5:59am

Looks like there was a shark attack at Port Macquarie last night, but with no major injuries. The guy didn't even know it had happened!

http://www.news.com.au/national/breaking-news/shark-blamed-for-nsw-surfers-injuries/story-e6frfku9-1226776544957

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braithy commented Friday, 6 Dec 2013 at 8:57am

I wonder what he thought had happened?

Your average surf -- unless you're doing it really, really wrong -- doesn't end in bleeding and puncture wounds and require hospitalisation.

I wonder how stoned he was?

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the-roller commented Monday, 9 Dec 2013 at 12:38pm

great point, braity.... do you think that quite possibly that bloke was as "stoned" as Michael Peterson, Matt Archibald, Andy Irons, Bruce Irons, Michael Peterson,...Tom Carroll?

Check this video... Especially Michael Tomson, right around the 54:50 minute mark.

Heh.

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braithy commented Monday, 9 Dec 2013 at 6:22pm

Clearly he was more stoned. I can't ever recall MP being attacked by a shark and not remembering.

There's no video attached to your post.

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kaiser commented Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 at 2:48pm

Anyone wonder whether shark tourism may have something to do with an increase in encounters?

I'm not sure of the intelligence levels of sharks, but I suspect they base most of their behaviour on past experience and association like many other species. If you look at cage diving etc, they put out a trail if chum, and they feed all the way along and have their senses filled with their favourite things, and then at the end of that trail stands a person in a wetsuit.

So, usually when they come across one of these funny-looking humanoids, they are in 'eat' mode and think a good feed is on.

It certainly can't be helping...

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udo commented Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 at 3:04pm

Kaiser, have a look at a recent A.B.C. doco by david riggs [first 3 mins ] .......where an angry white tries his hardest to upturn a tinnie in order to get the humans aboard into the water....highly intelligent creatures.

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kaiser commented Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 at 3:22pm

Thanks Udo, I'm guessing again but I think most of the fatal attacks by whites are done by the big buggers who would be the ones most likely to have had several encounters with shark tourism - owing to number of miles under their belts and also due to the fact that they're the ones the operators (and customers) would be trying hardest to attract.

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Craig commented Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 at 3:23pm

Wow, that's pretty scary Udo, imagine if they were in a smaller 10ft tinny or so!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-01/west-australian-documentary-reveals-a-unique/5065502

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udo commented Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 at 7:02pm

that day would be the ultimate test for any of the electronic repellant devices .

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reecen commented Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 at 7:52pm

looks like some action being taken.
Don't know how to react to this except that it will make a lot of people feel better about going in the water.
http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/large-sharks-in-beach-...
A pity that it cant be more targeted.

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sunshine commented Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 at 8:23pm

seriously,i think enough testing has been done on electric shark repellants.the worlds top shark attack "mitigation "experts have been refining them for over20years and one of thier shortcomings is that they wont work properly if immersed near any solid steel object(im guessing this includes Alloy).

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braithy commented Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 at 8:36pm

If David Riggs is right, and drum-lining sharks is what got that 5-metre shark at the beginning of his doco so angry.

... good luck surfing in the south west after you make them angry, huh?

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uplift commented Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 at 8:51pm

Gidday Kaiser, no wondering, its pretty obvious. Tuna farms too. Why do they have to employ divers to keep sharks at bay, and repair the nets. Its literally ridiculous when 'experts' spout off all these incredible characteristics about pointers, citing their ability to sense amasingly well. For instance, as highlighted on this website, one gets killed, all the others for miles around flee. One molecule of blood in the drink, track it, no problem. Vibration, hone in no worries. Etc, etc, etc. The apex predator, been around, been perfecting forever. Yet suddenly, supposedly, the same 'experts' deduce that pointers become useless, sensless klutzes, the dunces of the ocean, incapable of telling a stinking seal from a human. A bit like the movies where suddenly unbelievably trained, 'ninja' like hitmen and killers, (usually Russian assassins and agents, or 'turned' CIA agents), armed with machine guns and pump action shotguns, in the same 6m x 6m room as the likes of Russell Crowe armed with a mere, but deadly aimed mobile phone, keep missing him as he darts and rolls and jumps around the room.

Why are some people born with conditions that might lead to them becoming a serial killer, such as being unable to comprehend pain in others, no sense of killing at all. Or the opposite, why say a particular lion will adopt a baby gazelle, etc. Animals are no different to humans, in that some will be born with what we term a disability, or abnormal development, so how hard is it to realise that some sharks, just like some dogs, will always kill, or bite or attack anything. Or simply be in a mood, or desperate, just like people, that for a period results in out of the ordinary, violent behaviour.

Thankfully we aren't considered food by most pointers or every time we set foot in the ocean we would be eaten.

I saw a video of the ultimate test of an electronic device when they came over here and went out on one of the fishing boats and ran 'tests'. In the video, the dummy diver wearing the 'protective device' was singled out and ripped to shreds by a huge pointer. A bit of a 'fuck you,' moment.

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reecen commented Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 at 8:56pm

I hope David Riggs is wrong and that the drum lines catch that angry turd.

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kaiser commented Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 at 11:58pm

I take that footage with a bit of a grain of salt. Something about the editing, the camera angles and the screeching violin score makes me ponder a few questions. The only thing missing was Chief Brody and an old salt signing 'Farewell and adieu to you old Spanish ladies'. Not convinced it's bullshit, but not totally convinced it's legit.

Think about it - old mate has forked out a mil+ for a doco and needs to recoup. Sure he got some great footage of an aquatic utopia, but he needs a hook (pun) to get the attention of the media. Sorry, hard to beat the skeptic out of me.

I question whether they really are that smart, actually. I reckon evoluton will make you as smart as you NEED to be. These things are so physically and biologocally blessed, they could have no brain at all and still thrive. Think about it, a bear aint too bright, but he doesn't need to be. He's the apex predator. Same for crocodiles and other true apex animals. A hyena could be crushed by nearly everything around it, but it has evolved to be a cunning little mofo that can find a way to kill just about anything, thereby making up for its physical limitations. Humans are the best example - too smart for their own good but in the wild, weak as piss.

The main thing that got me about the doco was his final comments, saying this animal has been hooked by someone in the past and he's angry and seeking some sort of revenge. I think that wasn't covered until Jaws 3, but that was revenge for killing its sibling or something...

He said if we try to catch them, we're only gonna make them angry and there could be many others who have a vendetta and this would make them more dangerous than they are now. Is he fucken serious?

If we want them to stay away from us and not see us as food, we need to make sure that we don't lure them to us, and we don't reinforce it by feeding them.

We don't need to kill them, we just need to stop making them want to eat us

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grug commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 at 1:07am

agree with most of your points kaiser. I'd call bullshits on the same bullshits you're calling… very interesting documentary none the less. bears are actually pretty damn smart though.

this whole thing is so fucking complex on every level of analysis. But at the end of the day, humans are going to prioritise what they wanna do over pretty much anything else. This can't really be stopped. People want to use the water in WA for work and leisure and those people are increasingly too scared and uncomfortable with the seemingly rising risk of doing so… something will be done. what is done will most likely make not a whit of measurable difference to the risk but WILL make people feel better. Go ahead I say, as abhorrent as killing sharks in their own lounge room for our own selfish reasons may be (on so many levels) it's really no worse than so many other things we have done, do and will continue to do to other animals, humans and living things…

The whites will be fine… whatever gets done will probably have some kind of negative knock on effect to the rest of the marine ecosystem… but hey, who;s fucking counting… we've already run out of ink and room on the scorecard in that department. we'll continue to fuck everything up on this planet until there is nothing left to fuck up or we are all dead. I dare say the latter is more likely to happen first. It's human nature and it can't be stopped. But hey, we might as well have fun and get what we want while we do it… I like surfing. i don't really like being eaten by a shark. I like that that they are there though, and that the ocean is wild…. if that risk was larger where I live then maybe I wouldn't like that so much. would I stop surfing? not sure… would I agree with killing the sharks. never on principal but secretly maybe yes for selfish reasons… the moral and ethical questions are highly circuitous when you take into account all of the obvious and not so obvious hypocrisies involved in almost any stand. we are human. in the long run we will get what we want no matter the cost simply because we want it and we can. it is the saddest and truest fact of life on this earth.

and despite being an inevitable cog in this machine, I still reserve the right to call any and all who truly believe that killing other animals in their living room so that you can surf/swim/work/whatever in it for your own gain to be acceptable, an absolutely worthless cunt of a human. but that would make me an absolute cunt of a hypocrite on more levels than I care to consider… so be it, you can't win. and neither can the toothy men in grey suits.

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strawbs commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 at 2:02pm

More sharks were sighted in the last couple of years in Portland than at any time i have surfed here in the last 35 years . I put some of this down to the big schools of tuna that were being caught close to our coastline , and the huge influx of boats bait and burley from the hundreds of boats chasing them on a daily basis , boats were getting buzzed and props bitten by big whites frequently . Every november through summer , as the seal have pups the whites come in to feed on them at bridgewater and julia percy island , this is normal, what wasnt the last couple of years was the amount of sharks seen in close to shore here mid winter , when our coast is usually more like a marine desert in cold water ,rather than a fishermans playground . For years i dived for sharks teeth off narrawong by myself , swimming out a kilometre or so to the outside reef and fossiking for big black fossil teeth , sometimes i would find heaps scattered in the one spot surrounded by shattered whale bone from a huge ancient feasts , sometimes they were white sharp and brand new and reminded me i was in someone elses territory and they were still hungry and at home , que the jaws theme for the long, cold, lonely and paranoid swim home ..

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reecen commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 at 2:11pm

That's awesome strawbs, did you find many teeth?
The size of those gnashers are frightening and finding them all in an area with whale bones must have sent some pretty unnerving visions through your mind.

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Craig commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 at 2:43pm

That's crazy Strawbs, 1km offshore and then deep diving to get shark teeth, wow!

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udo commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 at 3:00pm

strawb post some pics of the teeth.

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grug commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 at 3:20pm

j h christ strawbs…. i'd call that a pretty big pair of gonads…

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strawbs commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 at 5:49pm

How do you post photos up on this forum , not real tech savy ?

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thermalben commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 at 5:55pm

Strawbs, we highly recommend 'imgur' for image hosting (http://imgur.com/). You don't even need to register with them (although if you do, it'll help you find previously uploaded files).

Simply upload a photo via the 'Computer' link on the RH column, follow the instructions and then copy the URL provided under 'Direct Link (email & IM)'.

Then in a forum thread, wrap the image URL with image tags, ie [img] and [/img].

For example, [img]http://_______[/img]

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strawbs commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 at 6:00pm

Thanks thermalben will try to get some up before i have go to work .

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strawbs commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 at 7:29pm


Just a small part of my collection, these are mainly white pointers , a few megladon, a now extinct shark , ( although some reseachers dispute this , worth checking out the story about a boat that was attacked by one in australia ? in the old days ) and a few whale teeth , most are fossils , some are recent , ,most are from the holocene period ..

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Craig commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 at 10:15pm

Great finds Strawbs, are those big black ones the Whites? If so that's amazing!

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reecen commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 at 8:06pm

There's some beauty's in their strawbs, good work.
There is a story in WA that I have been told a bunch of times by a guy who was on the boat who swears it was true. Apparently the guy's on the boat thought that they had hit the bottom at an entrance to a harbour and when they dived to check the prop found a GW tooth the size of a cigarette packet stuck into the wooden rudder.
Some how no one seems to know where the tooth is though...

udo's picture
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udo commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 at 8:17pm

nice retirement package there strawbs.

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grug commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 at 11:34pm

sweet! I've bought a few okay ones from markets over the years… but they are beautiful. I think there would have to be a few megalodons left somewhere in the deep… gotta hope so.

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Nigel Nosedive commented Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 at 11:42pm

I suspect we are seeing the White Shark population return to levels not seen for a long time. Protection has no doubt helped but presumably it was tough it was for them after sealing and then whaling reduced their main food sources to very low levels. As noted fur seal populations and Humpback populations are recovering strongly with Whites with their slow reproductive rate lagging a bit now but presumably on the increase.

Culling like shark nets in the east will reduce risk because it is relatively easy to fish a shark population down due to their slow reproductive rate and it doesn't take a lot of effort to keep their numbers low (not extinct!)

Not wanting to sound callous but frequent attacks like in WA also have the potential to affect local economies. Fortunately Qld and NSW have retained meshing programs which keeps the number of Bull Sharks and Tigers down .

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french commented Monday, 6 Jan 2014 at 9:05am

How to prevent shark attacks: Go to the pool.

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The Jedi Tube Pig commented Monday, 6 Jan 2014 at 10:16am

Reminds me of when I used work as a deep sea fisherman. Was reeling in some beasts when a fuckin shark jumped on board and came at me. I couldnt fuckin belive my eyes but I'll tell you what boys I pulled out me shotty and let that bitch have it.

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Craig commented Thursday, 9 Jan 2014 at 7:30pm

Story about to take place on ABC's 7:30 now.

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udo commented Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 at 2:54pm

A 2.5 mtr white pointer caught in the nets off Bondi today.
Strawbs got any more teeth in your collection ?

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thermalben commented Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 at 3:05pm

That's a decent bitey.

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goofyfoot commented Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 at 6:05pm

Strawbs they are insane!

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wingnut2443 commented Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016 at 8:00am

Interesting comments on this article from a few years back. In light of recent events and the continued trend in Northern NSW it's worth reviewing if or how your opinions have changed ...

Surfboard Design and Construction Kook. Evidence is here: www.ffwsurfboards.com.au
*FFW - Few Fun Waves ... that's what it's all about for me.

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freeride76 commented Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016 at 8:39am

The whole thing, from the status of GWS as endangered to the official advices as to how to avoid shark attack needs a total reboot.

When I read the article above I get furious that they are still putting forwards the theory that the increased attacks are a function of increased populations of water users. We've got enough real time data from tagging and aerial surveillance to take that theory down the back paddock and put a bullet in the head. It's about as helpful as the belief the Earth is flat.
Take a look at the official Govt DPI SharkSmart twitter account. Now get back to me and tell me these animals are endangered.
Juvenile to sub-adult whites are abundant in the inshore waters of NENSW.
Chief DPI shark biologist Vic Pedemoors has admitted as much to me personally and in other public statements.
DPI has moved from denying there was any issue with GWS numbers here to now admitting it but having no idea why this would be so.

It's well past time for the rhetoric from official agencies to stop peddling myths and start reflecting reality.

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sypkan commented Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016 at 9:14am

marine biologists on RN just said there are less sharks now than what there were 20-30 years ago

hard to believe considering recent events and the tendency towards more protection

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freeride76 commented Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016 at 9:42am

A completely meaningless statement.\

There are many species of sharks, in many ecological niches.

Oceanic white-tip numbers might be decreasing, for example, while GWS numbers might be increasing.

The level of ignorant debate in the media, oftentimes from scientists who should know better, is just appalling.

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sypkan commented Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016 at 10:07am

Yep

And the machine wonders why people don't listen to experts anymore

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freeride76 commented Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016 at 1:11pm

Just heard that ABC segment.

It was Danny Bucher from southern Cross here. You'd have to go a long way to find a bloke who's been more clueless and continually wrong-footed by reality in regards to the shark issue here than Danny.

discostu's picture
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discostu commented Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016 at 1:26pm

Sheesh, what was that recommendation? Shark first aid kits?

Lovely idea. Lets ignore the problem and leave a needle and thread in a box on the beach so that if the surfer attacked ( investigated some say ) can make it back to the beach, drag himself up the sand and find the magic box without a henry the third in it, or a half eaten sandwich he can then sew his leg back on before he dies of blood loss. Honestly, what a load of bollocks.

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philosurphizing... commented Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016 at 4:36pm

I think scientists should look into the chemical composition of the water coming out of the Ballina river and try to find out if there is something new in the water that might be attracting sharks.
The biggest environmental change in the Ballina River hinterland in the past decade is the sugarcane farmers no longer burn the cane prior to harvesting.
Maybe there is now something different ( a chemical maybe) that is being washed off the canefields into the river and out to sea, that was previously burnt and destroyed by the fires.
Here is a google maps photo taken on the 8/9/2016, the river is very dirty and you can see at the rivermouth the tide was coming in.

Here is a photo of the canefields in the Ballina hinterland, as you can see the farmers have recently plowed some of the fields for the next planting.

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AndyM commented Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016 at 6:32pm

I know one thing for sure, unlike Danny Bucher I wouldn't base my decision to go in the water on an app that tells me that "no sharks have been seen".

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velocityjohnno commented Wednesday, 28 Sep 2016 at 10:46pm

I'm feeling for you guys up there in N NSW. Surfed right over a baby (bull?) shark at Broken earlier in the year. It was coming out over the sandbar from the gutter as I was catching my last wave in. About 4 feet long and not 12 thankfully. The ocean feels alive up there, spooky at times, and oh so clear water.
Coming from WA, I've lived through much of the shark - what word for it? boom? bubble? tragedy? - in recent years and I do wonder if individual animals learn that success occurs in a certain area, so come back to it and repeat behaviour. (The 'rogue shark' theory). Mum's tip to me (she grew up on a QLD sugar cane farm that backed onto a river): don't surf at the rivermouth, don't surf after 4, don't surf first light. She did see tiger sharks swimming in the river at their farm some miles up from the rivermouth. Not whites though.

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simba commented Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 at 6:37am

Vj it seems like white sharks like to see there prey, so most white shark attacks happen thru the day but good advice anyway.

simba

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freeride76 commented Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 at 6:45am

Fong sometimes when you don't know what the fuck you are talking about it's best to just keep your trap shut.

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wally commented Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 at 7:22am

Shark Cull? As somewhere between 100 million and 273 million sharks are killed by humans every year, I reckon we are culling the fk out of them.
That massive slaughter, mainly for sharkfin soup, should be the main focus of moral and environmental concern.

As regards the Nth NSW attacks, isn't the only thing proven to work, proven over and over again, conventional shark nets and drumlines? I reckon these need to be put in at selected spots. All species have a right to defend themselves, including us. I am not aware of a better option.

Yes, we could all just stay out of the water. But, that is not really going to happen and why can't humans be in the ocean too? The bits of the ocean I can easily swim out to and, at most beaches, walk out to, I see as part of the natural human range.

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Rabbits68 commented Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 at 9:15am

Wally, your stats on shark fishing/cull are amazing, but how many GWS are included in that I wonder? As Freeride suggested earlier, this issue is about GWS, not "sharks" in general.

Humans do have a right to go in the ocean but shouldnt do so without the acceptance of some level of risk of death. We do it on land every single day, routinely. Why should the ocean of all places be a place we enter without out risk of death? Which brings me to another question, are we as ocean users prepared to accept "any" deaths by shark attack? If so, how we do measure it? Is one a year acceptable etc?

I agree we should try as many methods as possible, including a targeted cull of GWS if agreed & keep monitoring the outcomes as closely as possible. Then continue to adapt as we learn. At the end of the day, we have to accept a certain level of risk when we enter the ocean.

Pristine

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dastasha commented Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 at 8:16am

Is there a possibility of a link between cane farm runoff and plankton? I've never seen so many whales as there are now. I'm not the only one that thought the sharks follow the whales...

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discostu commented Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 at 9:21am

Wahahahhaaha! Ohhh man are there some choice comments on here. Sugar cane run off responsible? Are you saying that sharks have a sweet toof? tehehehehe

For fecks sake if that were true the buggers wouldn't have any teef!

And whaaaatt? 100 million sharks a year are killed? tehehehe, so um 273,972 per day? Why isn't my flake and chips costing less then?

What a cack. Someone going on about a cull not being a long term solution? Why effingwait? We want a solution now AND one for the future. Given the nonsense espoused above I believe I have the answer!

The short term solution is obvious - temporary on-the-beach flake and chip stalls along the length of the NNSW coastline until they run out of shark fillets to dip in batter.

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Sheepdog commented Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 at 9:47am

Ohhhh GREAT...... here we freekn go again......

Sheepdog

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udo commented Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 at 3:42pm

If i was spruiking a detterant be it electronic magnetic or other i would have be all over the Nth Nsw coast in the last 12mths ...showing how effective my product is...juvenile pointers in clear shallow water ..what a testing ground, have any of these mobs been in the area ? anyone know

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dastasha commented Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 at 5:04pm

Spearfisher mates reckon WD40 is a good fish attractant. They say it brings in the sharks for sure. Who knows what's washing out the rivermouths.

Surfing after a few days rain is always a good way to pick up a random infection. There's plenty of stuff in the water that shouldn't be there for sure.
One thing about sharks, they get everyone emotional

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freeride76 commented Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 at 7:28pm

wd-40 is mostly fish oil.

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Wharfjunkie commented Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 at 7:31pm

Add PH buffer to the water.

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discostu commented Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 at 8:22pm

Tehehehehe sorry but I couldn't resist Fongster said:

"His the expert....on everything, just doesn't have those education paperwork stufff too make his arguments more convincing ?"

On the basis of the spelling you used, can I see your High School certificate please?

So what you are saying is that one needs a piece of paper from a university to engage in a conversation about sharks? You mean like those people at the DPI who as someone wrote said that they don't know much about Great Whites?

By the way Fongster, 'ow dja know dem sharkies are less in number cos fishing has stolen their tuna sangers? The price of tuna aint gone up - been buying it for years. Must be loads of the buggers out there.

And, I wanna see ya bit of paper before I reads yar answer.

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Wharfjunkie commented Thursday, 29 Sep 2016 at 8:26pm

Why does someone need documentation to prove expertise Fong?

Or have to be born in a particular postcode to have local guardianship?

To be honest I much prefer the one week holiday maker locals who know how the breaks work best, strut around the place as if they have been there their whole life and get dropped in on by couple of year locals who think they own the place, moan about blow ins then get their kids a job in the hospitality industry which relies on blow ins.

Now back to sharks I think the government shouldn't have to pay exorbitant amount of money to cater towards the minority that is surfers. The surfers on that coastline who drop in on visiting surfers at Lennox point amongst other breaks because they are 5 year locals should cough up the coin for measures to prevent attack.

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Sheepdog commented Thursday, 10 Sep 2020 at 6:11pm

With over 50 years ocean experience, not just surfing but as an ex professional fisherman, I say these words with a heavy heart.
Surfing elders need to hand down not only surfing tips to newbies and novices, but OCEAN WISDOM. The popularity of surfing, the changing work lifestyles, the turning of a fringe lifestyle into a capitalist "commodity" has put more people in the water at different times.
At the same time, our love affair with whales has not only created another capitalist commodity, (simply compare Hervey Bay now to 20 years ago), it has reinvigorated ancient marine ecosystems and food chains. For every action, there is a reaction.
Now.... We cant kill the whales. Or cant we? Those here who support drum lines and nets should probably support killing whales. The nets they endorse kill them anyway, along with dolphins and turltes, manta rays and the like. If you support nets but shudder at the killing of whales, you are an ideological hypocrite.
Of course my suggestion to kill whales is devils advocate. I do not endorse it. I endorse wisdom.
One can never be 100% safe in the ocean. But one can take steps to minimalize the risk of injury and death. A nose cone decreases the risk of serious injury. As does a helmet. Booties on shallow reefs. Fitness. All stuff within our power.
But when it comes to sharks, we want OTHERS to protect us, We want the right to treat the ocean as our lounge room. Very few on the east coast , far south excluded, have never thought longer than a second about being attacked, that is up until the last decade, when whale numbers have boomed.
Put in more drums, more nets, more patrols, it wont do shit. A placebo. Something for the politicians and "community leaders" more worried about reputation and money than actual lives.. Or........... Listen to old sea dogs. Find the tv interview with the old fisherman at wooli beach after that young guy was taken....

Here's a very simple checklist. The more you tick off the list, the bigger chance of attack. I've posted before. 2013, 2015, 2016.

surfing within 3 days either side of a full/new moon..
Rain, not just at present, but from previous days creating less that ideal water quality.
dawn/dusk.
Overcast.
surfing on change of tide..
mid tide incoming.
seasonal bait/migration.
deep drop offs.
reefs/points /rock.
by yourself.
pissing in your wetsuit.
jingly jewellery.
cuts , periods.

If you tick 3 or more, start to keep your eyes out. Every tick after 3 IMO will double the risk..... Let's say you are out at sunset 1.... It's overcast 2.... It's right on the change of low tide 3.... There's baitfish jumping all around you, sea birds diving into the water catching fish 4... Maybe you have a bit of a small fin cut from scraping your inner foot on a fin 5.. You just pissed in your springy 6...
YOU ARE ASKING FOR SHIT.
Educate yourself. Dont expect society to wrap you up in cotton wool. Take responsibility.
Cheers.

Sheepdog

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calk commented Thursday, 10 Sep 2020 at 6:40pm

Thanks heaps for sharing Sheepdog! I really like the list and concept of compounding risk.

Research trails practice in many areas and I think this is definitely a situation where we really need to rely on anecdotal evidence and the experiences of those who spend the most time in the ocean interacting with these animals. George Greenough's article in the Surfers Journal a while ago is such a good example of this and a very insightful read for anyone interested in reducing risk in 'sharky' areas.

TBB noted an hour or so after high being a risk (pretty sure that was it anyway) and referenced visible high tide lines frequently appearing in aerial photos of sharks patrolling beaches in the shallows.

In your opinion, why is mid incoming tide a flag? Similar reasons to the theory above?

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freeride76 commented Thursday, 10 Sep 2020 at 6:26pm

well, apart from all that the actual article has aged terribly.

your checklist doesn't compare well to the recent spate of attacks Sheepdog, although I appreciate the intent to impart wisdom.

clear skies, sunny days, small surf mid-morning regardless of the tide or rainfall, surfing in small groups are when those attacks occurred.

Then the poor guy at the Superbank.

I think you need to rejig your list based on this years attacks.

I agree by catch from the nets is too high, although dolphins seem to co-exist perfectly in Coolangatta Bay with them.

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Sheepdog commented Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020 at 10:35am

Actually FR, you need to recheck that day re greenmount.....
Attack happened at sunset.
Rescuer said baitfish ball and diving birds right next to victim
Was low tide at 5.45pm. You're a fisherman. Fish on the chew an hour either side of that. https://tides.willyweather.com.au/qld/gold-coast/greenmount-beach.html
Prime whale migration time.
Rain the previous 2 days.

There's 5 ticks right there. Did he have a small fin cut on his inner foot? Pee in his springy? Potential for 7 ticks off the list.

Sheepdog

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Craig commented Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020 at 10:39am

It's not conclusive, but from what I could make out from the vision before the attack, there were no birds diving etc, they only arrived after the attack. Can't comment re the bait balls.

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goofyfoot commented Thursday, 10 Sep 2020 at 7:42pm

So when is a safe time to surf Sheepy?

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Sheepdog commented Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020 at 10:41am

There's no safe time, goof ball.... You should know that. But there's no safe time riding a bike on a highway. People still do it tho.
Pristine clear morning, No rain, mid tide going out, A good hour after sunrise, nice 4 footers peeling down a sandy point, no schools of bait fish, one of the countless days that's not a new or full moon, I'd say your chance of being munched is waaaaay less than surfing in a baitball on the change of tide at sunset tho

Sheepdog