Sunday, March 8, 2009

Surfer hit by first Bondi beach shark attack for 80 years

This is old news, but after three Sydney shark attacks in one month, the NSW Government is being accused of putting the welfare of sharks ahead of people.

Commercial fisherman blame the government ban on killing sharks for the increased attacks.

Shark nets are being attacked by environmentalists as inhumane. (Bondi is netted.) As a result, the government may be looking to get rid of the nets in NSW.

"Michael Brown, director of Surfwatch Australia, a private helicopter coastal patrol service, said yesterday the explosion in shark numbers this season has been "unbelievable". He estimates an increase of about 80 per cent since last summer. Three years ago, he saw one great white a season. Last summer, he spotted seven. This year he's seen 27. And the sharks are bigger than ever - 3.5 metres and 4 metres long off Long Reef and Palm Beach."

I've swum at Bondi and other Sydney Beaches. Even though they aren't a guarantee, nets have drastically reduced the number of shark attacks and provide a sense of security (false perhaps).

As an aside, my sister regularly swam/surfed off the beaches (no nets) of Adelaide, SA, which is a breeding ground for Australian Sea Lions and New Zealand Fur Seals and consequently home to a large population of Great White sharks (called White Pointers in Australia). At the time, she had been in Australia eating and partying for months so she resembled a fat little seal. Regardless, she still has all of her appendages.

South Australian Rodney Fox, a survivor of one of the most vicious Great White shark attacks in history, has a company where he takes SCUBA divers cage diving with Great White sharks.

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