Is shark culling okay given the number of shark attacks that have occurred? Recently it seems that the number of shark attacks has increased with seven fatal attacks in the past 3 years in Western Australia (WA). These recent attacks have led the WA Government being granted an exemption to start culling sharks with a catch-and-kill shark program. A lot of people including scientists and surfers are against this controversial decision. For people to make an informed decision they need to have an understanding of where the shark fits into the marine ecosystem, as well as the reasons presented for the use of shark culling and the arguments given that oppose such extreme measures.
The Shark’s place in the marine ecosystem is as a predator at the top of the food chain as there is no natural predator of sharks. Sharks are not very fastidious about what they eat but their diet generally consists of seal, crab, squid, lobster and fish. If sharks were to become extinct there would be an ecological cost. The marine life that is the shark’s food source would start to overpopulate with nothing to prey on it. One possible reason that sharks are coming closer to shores is that their natural food source is diminishing due to overfishing by humans. To stop sharks from being too near to popular swimming locations, fishermen need to expand or change their hunting areas.
One reason for culling sharks is that when there are sharks in populated areas, people’s lives are in danger therefore if