Sunday, August 24, 2014

Video: SBS World News Takes a Look at Sea Shepherd's Upcoming Movie 'The Shark Cull'

Save our Sharks body paint. Protesting against the Western Australia shark cull
Protesting against the Western Australia shark cull
On August 23, 2014, SBS World News in Australia did a story regarding the upcoming release of the Sea Shepherd movie, 'The Shark Cull.'  The movie centers on Western Australia's controversial shark kill policy that went into effect in January 2014 following several fatal shark attacks. The SBS story outlines some of the key points made in the documentary but it also looks at some of the criticisms the documentary is receiving.

Since implementation of the cull, which ended in April 2014, a total of 72 drum lines were deployed to bait and hook large sharks (sharks over 3 meters were killed) and a total of 172 sharks were caught.  Of the 172, 50 met the size threshold and were killed, 18 were smaller sharks but died due to being caught and the others were released.

Officials have touted that the cull was a success and have since applied to the federal government for a three-year extension of the program which would start in November 2014.  During the time the cull was in effect, beach closures due to shark sightings were fewer than in previous years and there were no reported shark bite incidents. Whether this decline had anything to do with the use of the drum lines would be anyone's guess but officials believe that the program did make the beaches safer for beachgoers.

Tiger shark tthat was killed in Western Australia cull is pulled aboard a boat to be later dumped at sea
Tiger shark caught/killed in Western Australia cull
But many shark scientists disagree with the shark cull policy.  As noted in a Southern Fried Science's article titled "More than 100 shark scientists, including me, oppose the cull in Western Australia" the author, David Shiffman, contends that "the government of Western Australia has again proposed a misinformed policy that would harm populations of threatened animals without making surfers or swimmers safer."  He notes that in order to reduce human/shark encounters, a much better solution would be to "further improve education and communication of knowledge (existing and that obtained through further essential research) to the community about ways to avoid negative encounters with sharks."*

Sea Shepard documentary description from their website (trailer below):
A Sea Shepherd documentary on the Western Australian shark cull, exposing the brutal cruelty of the controversial program that took place off the WA Coastline last summer.  
Featuring never before seen footage & exclusive interviews with Sharon Burden (mother of Kyle Burden, tragically taken in 2011 by a White Shark), Skyler Thomas, Jeff Hansen, Nicole McLachlan, Craig Moss & Mike Dicks - captain of the Sea Shepherd vessell, 'Bruce the RIB'.
This explosive documentary on the Western Australians drum line policy is a must see for anyone interested in the protection of sharks & marine conservation.
SBS World News story:

The Shark Cull trailer: *If you're having issues accessing the Shiffman article, you can view the cache copy here.