AT­TACKS RE­QUIRE STUD­IED RE­SPONSE

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion -

RA­TIO­NAL and in­formed heads must pre­vail af­ter re­ac­tions to the two re­cent fa­tal shark at­tacks. The quick calls to restart com­mer­cial shark fish­ing came with­out proof it would be vi­able, and ma­nip­u­lated front pages were pro­pa­ganda. The at­tacks high­lighted sev­eral fac­tors re­quir­ing more in­ves­ti­ga­tion, in­clud­ing in­creas­ing sal­mon pop­u­la­tions, warmer wa­ter temperatures and the ac­tual size of the south and west coasts’ pop­u­la­tion of great whites. The State Gov­ern­ment could serve its own im­age well by re­in­stat­ing shark tag­ging and fund­ing more mon­i­tor­ing buoys and tar­geted re­search, if sci­en­tific ad­vice says it is worth­while. It must not be for­got­ten that the ma­jor­ity of those at­tacked since 2000 did so while div­ing, surf­ing and off­shore swim­ming, which are not the daily ac­tiv­i­ties of the av­er­age punter. Perth is not a sunny Sur­rey, Naples with jobs or Shanghai with­out pol­lu­tion. It is on a wild coast with un­tame­able de­lights and dan­gers, and that’s why it’s good to live here. Jon Bas­sett - reporter

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