Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Released Sharks are Not Safe in West Australia

Greetings again everyone. More grim news coming from West Australia to go along with more sad pictures as well. For the second time a undersized tiger shark has been seen sinking to the bottom of the sea. Words cannot describe how heartbreaking it is to see that this cull has continued despite it really not achieving anything at all except potentially making the beaches less safe for swimmers. So here is the situation. Sharks that are less than 3m in length are supposed to be released so that they may continue their lives and grow up to be healthy sharks. Well that is simply not happening with an unacceptable number of small sharks that are being released in this cull. In one of my past few blogs, I touched on the methods fishermen were using to remove hooks from the mouths, heads, and gills of sharks. Well, images surfaced earlier today of more horrible and completely unwarranted abuse towards these small sharks. All photos I'm using in this blog were taken by members of West Australians for Shark Conservation's Facebook Page.

Photo: And this is the first shark released this morning off Floreat. Injured and bleeding. Further attractant to bring more sharks. Credit for photo to Neil Henderson

Take note of neck of the shark. It has been cut deeply. There is absolutely zero reason in the world that these fisherman had to slit this undersized shark's throat. The hook was not across the animal's throat. All this was was a demonstration of humans being incredibly cruel to a young animal that had done nothing wrong other then bite a baited hook. Out of 50 known released sharks, 40 have been found dead. This is not a good ratio. In fact it is unacceptable. The public was told that sharks under 3m would be released and not be killed. Clearly what these fisherman are doing is nothing more than taking pleasure in abusing an animal that is beyond misunderstood.

So does anyone reading this honestly believe that a shark can survive having it's throat slit? Anyone? Honestly? No? Okay that's good to hear at least. Simply put, much like humans or any other animal, sharks cannot survive having their throats slit. Moving on. Fishermen claim that 80% of the sharks released have survived. What I have seen and read tells me otherwise. I'm leaning towards perhaps an 80% mortality rate as more and more images of abused, undersized sharks continue to surface. So what happened to this shark? Well reportedly it has shared the fate of this shark.

Blair Ranford's photo.
This is another one of the released tiger sharks. Unable to swim, it sank to the bottom of the sea and died.

This is simply unacceptable and should not be allowed to continue. This is what happens when politicians who have no idea what is going on in the oceans take over and do what they want. They think they are making the beaches safer, but they are doing nothing but the exact opposite. First of all, like many other fish, when hooked, a shark will intentionally vomit to try and free itself from the hook. All of that stuff will attract other, larger sharks. Blood will attract other, larger sharks. All that these fishermen are doing is trying to bait in the larger sharks. I've got a feeling that some government officials are probably pretty steamed that no white sharks have been caught. None of these man eating sharks that the West Australian Government feared have shown their faces. Not a single one.

There is a reason that the large sharks, after being killed, are dragged a long ways offshore before being dumped. It is to prevent the large sharks from coming closer to shore. Killing the small sharks where their caught does absolutely nothing but do the exact opposite of what the fishermen are "trying" to do in dragging the large ones offshore. It makes no sense to me. It really doesn't and at this point I am willing to say that these fisherman do not have an ounce of knowledge on the behaviors of the animals that they are hunting. That, or they just do not care in the least bit about the "plan to keep beaches safe" and would much rather just kill sharks for the Hell of it. Again, this cull needs to end. It is doing nothing to keep beaches safe. It is doing nothing to ensure the survival of surfers. It is doing nothing to conserve shark populations. It is doing nothing but killing sharks, most of which are too young to even breed, damaging the populations of shark species in the area, and making the beaches more dangerous for swimmers. There is a reason that the drum lines were pulled before a swimming even took place. They are attracting sharks. They need to be pulled and never put back into the sea again.

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