Great White Shark ‘Protected’ Status Questioned

Great white sharks have long been a problem off Australia’s west coast, and after a surfer was bit in half by one of the beasts, some are wondering if it may be time to take the ocean’s fiercest predator off “protected species” list.

The region has long been a hot bed for great white shark attacks and Western Australia Fisheries Minister Norman Moore has begun to wonder if maybe the cause is that there are just too many sharks.

“I wonder if research might tell us that there are now much greater number of great whites than ever before, and maybe we should look at whether they should remain a protected species,” he told AFP. “This is a very distressing event and to add to the previous four fatalities, it is of great concern to me and to the fisheries department, indeed the government as a whole.”

The Global Post Dispatch reported that Moore does support killing the shark who killed the surfer, but also tha that authorities have ruled out culling the herd of great white sharks in Australian waters.. The paper also quoted Janita Enevoldsen, a spokesman for the local chapter of The Wilderness Society, who said that removing the shark’s status is probably not a good idea.

“We need to really understand them and not resort to the Neanderthal reaction of a hunt and kill,” Enevoldsen said.

Beaches near the attack remain closed and a hunt is on for the shark in question, with bait line being dropped in the area of the attack. The remains of the surfer, Benjamin Linden, have not been recovered and it is believed the great white shark was feeding at the time of the attack.