Submission to the NSW shark summit
I have been a shark expert for over 35 years. In that time I have talked to literally thousands of people about sharks. I can attest to the average person’s ignorance of these magnificent animals.
I have spent my life by the coast swimming and on various surf craft, dangling beyond the breakers like a wounded seal. In recent years I have embraced ocean swimming as a recreation. I have always understood that the ocean was home to sharks and accepted the small risk that sharing their environment might entail.
Unfortunately, my research has revealed no conclusive scientific explanation for the rise in negative shark/human interactions.
Most likely, increased attackes are the result of increasing human population, more people visiting beaches, a rise in the popularity of water-based fitness and recreational activities and people accessing previously isolated coastal areas.
There are no simple solutions, but I believe we must use all available science to strike the right balance between beach safety and marine conservation.
I therefore call on the NSW government to carefully apply the precautionary principle and kill all of the sharks.