The scene of a shark attack on Clarkes Beach, Byron Bay where a man in his fifties died 09/09/2014.
The scene of a shark attack on Clarkes Beach, Byron Bay where a man in his fifties died 09/09/2014. Cathy Adams

OPINION: Northern Rivers accepts sharks as part of nature

ANYWHERE else in the country there would be calls for the shark involved in yesterday's fatal attack at Byron Bay to be hunted down and killed.

There would be people beating down the doors of the council chambers in Mullumbimby calling for shark nets and drum lines to be installed.

But not here on the Northern Rivers, where creatures such as sharks are accepted along with all the other wildlife in our region.

The man who died from a shark bite at Byron Bay's beautiful Clarkes Beach has now been identified as local resident Paul Wilcox, 50.

He was just out for an ocean swim when he came into contact with a white pointer.

My staff and I send our condolences to the man's relatives and friends.

This region has been particularly hard hit by a run of bad news lately including the drowning of an Irish surfer and the deaths of four youths on the Pacific Highway last week.

Yesterday's shark attack has reverberated around the nation and once again put the spotlight back on the much-maligned sharks.

Unlike other states, here there is an acceptance that sharks are part of nature - just as humans have a place in their habitat.

Clarkes is usually such a beautiful and benign beach, its gentle rolling waves making it a popular place to swim and surf.



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