Menu
News

Sharks share our playground

BE AWARE OF RISKS: A 3m shark was located near the Byron Bay Surf Club, close to the shore break, following a fatal attack at Clarkes Beach last week.
BE AWARE OF RISKS: A 3m shark was located near the Byron Bay Surf Club, close to the shore break, following a fatal attack at Clarkes Beach last week. Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter

I'VE had a lot to say at times over the years about sharks, and I stand by it all.

But right now, my thoughts are with the family of the victim of last week's shark bite fatality.

First and foremost I would hope people discussing the so-called "shark issue" show a little consideration for the feelings of those who are suffering and allow these people to grieve in peace.

As for what we should do about sharks?

Well, let's just say I've read a lot of weird stuff online about just that this last week, from silly extremes such as the idea that sharks are utterly harmless fluffy critters similar to dolphins, to the other extreme that the only good shark is a dead shark, and that culling and netting is the answer to all our shark attack fears.

Both, in my humble opinion, are quite strange knee-jerk reactions to the highly emotional and frightening primal fear sharks tend to trigger in us.

What do I believe we should do?

Nothing other than to try to educate people a little more honestly. Tragic as this event is, these occurrences do happen. Sure it's rare, and the odds are low.

But people really do need to understand the risk, small though it is. It's prudent to remember that it is a wild and dynamic environment in which we choose to play. It's not a surf theme park.

There may be sharks around at any given moment, but most of the time you won't see them, unless you're well-accustomed to looking for them. They are neither harmless nor a massive threat.

They are, however, the top-level predator in their environment. To see them as anything else is to literally con ourselves.

Once we con ourselves with the idea that sharks are harmless, we open the door to the ridiculous Hollywood fantasy of a rogue shark that must be destroyed at all costs.

But in reality, rogue sharks are just that, a Hollywood fantasy - nothing more. There is no scientific evidence that proves otherwise.

In reality sharks are just sharks, they do sharky type things, and sometimes, a person gets hurt.

It's nobody's fault; it's just the nature of where we choose to play.

Topics:  shark shark attack



Large manta ray washes up on North Coast beach

A 2.4 metre manta ray washed up on the beach.

Evans Head resident Ken Miles came across the sea creature last week

Dangerous swell and surf continues on coast

There was a big swell at Snapper Rocks on Tuesday, October 17.

Surfers, boaters, swimmers and fishers to take caution.

Local Partners