A recent deadly shark attack off the coast of Australia has led Southwestern Fresh Fish to request that the ban on great white shark fishing be lifted.
The company claims that great white shark fishing is necessary to lower the population along heavily used beaches. The plea to lift the ban on great white shark fishing comes on the heels of the 14th deadly shark attack in the area since the year 2000.
Last Tuesday, Ben Gerring was surfing near Australia’s Falcon Beach when his leg was bitten off by a great white shark. Gerring was taken to an area hospital, but succumbed to his injuries and died on Friday. The shark was later caught in a drum line and killed.
Great white shark fishing in the area was banned in 2007, but according to a lengthy Facebook post on the Soutwestern Fresh Fish’s page, the company would like to see that changed. The company claims that the ban on shark fishing has caused the population to grow stating that
Over more than 35 years here at Southwestern Fresh Fish we have encountered hundreds of great white sharks. In our opinion they are definitely increasing with the main time of year to see them now increasing from just a few months per year to around eight months per year. Without commercial shark fishermen, sharks eat everything, breed up and cause serious problems.
The company’s pleas will likely fall on deaf ears with the local government since great whites are protected by both federal and state laws as well as international agreements.
Those opposed to lifting the ban on great white shark fishing point out that the number of shark fatalities is still small compared to other causes of death for Australia’s ocean goers. John West of the Taronga Conservation Society said,
Figures from the Royal Life Saving Society show an average of 292 deaths per year from drowning, about eight rock fishermen are swept to their deaths each year and around 23 people die every year from diving related accidents. The average number of fatal shark attacks over the last 50 years is just under one per year.
What do you think? Should the ban on great white shark fishing off the Australian coast be lifted?