Fifth Fatal Shark Attack Puts Western Australia on High Alert

A 24-year-old surfer is killed by a massive Great White, prompting a debate over culling the region's shark population.

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Reuters

A great white shark swimming.

Western Australia is fast becoming known as the deadliest place in the world for shark attacks. A fatal attack over the weekend, which occurred about 100 miles north of the city of Perth, was the fifth death in that region in the last 10 months.

A 24-year-old surfer from Perth, Benjamin Linden, was attacked Saturday morning by a great white shark about 600 feet off Wedge Island, a popular family vacation destination. A nearby jetskier saw blood in the water and rushed to help the victim, but by the time he got there it was too late to do anything but drag Linden’s body — which the shark had severed in half — to the shore.

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“There was blood everywhere and a massive, massive white shark circling the body,” Matt Holmes told Sky News. “I reached to grab the body and the shark came at me on the jet ski and tried to throw me off.”

Holmes circled around again, but couldn’t reach Linden, and the shark raced with his remains into deeper waters.

Officials promptly closed the beach and set up bait to lure the shark in captivity, but to no avail. Neither the shark nor the body was spotted again the rest of the day, despite both a helicopter and boat search of the area.

Locals have nicknamed the deadly shark Brutus and witnesses say it measures anywhere from 16 to 24 feet long.

Western Australia’s senior shark research scientist, Rory McAuley, told The Australian that the state has become the deadliest in the world for shark attacks with an “unprecedented” number of fatalities in the last 24 months. He said that data shows sharks sticking around the coast for months at a time.

Officials in Western Australia are now debating culling the shark population in the area in an attempt to cut down on the number of attacks.

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9 comments
Pete Morgan
Pete Morgan

In the short term we need more cost effective aerial patrols over the Perth beaches all year round not just the summer and school holidays (culling, tagging, shark nets and so on are all long term and will take years to assess with no guarantees) the damage being done to our tourism industry will be in the many millions this year alone. More hours patrolling will help identify large sharks that may be in the vicinity of human activity and alert the authorities so that they can take necessary action, in turn these patrols will also give some confidence back to beach goers that something is being done, people need to see a visual presence that is looking out for them!

The Gyro Patrol project could be on call to help when there has been a sighting to confirm or search the area, also be over head during organised water activities on watch for dangerous situations. "Eyes in the skies for the Perth community!" www.gyropatrol.com.au 

Pete

VinceMcChicken
VinceMcChicken

I say, kill the muhfuckin sharks. Seriously, there is no point to them other than to control the population of fish - wish we are over-fishing anyways. Kill the sharks, and kill two birds at the same time - No more attacks, and less stress on over fishing. = Win Win.

Ashlie McMonagle
Ashlie McMonagle

Sharks control the population of species that feed off phytoplankton. A decline in shark populations will cause a steady decline of phytoplankton and, in turn, the oxygen levels of the ocean. Oxygen on Earth is very dependent on the oxygen of the ocean.

Some people are SO ignorant.

Jennifer O'Neal Bryan
Jennifer O'Neal Bryan

Ashlie you are spot on about people being so ignorant.  I guess what is frustrating for me is.... You know that shark attacks are high in certain areas so why in the hell would you get in the water and surf?  It's like False Bay South Africa, I would never think to enter the water unless I was in a protective cage.  False Bay is known for shark attacks.  We can't keep killing things, we have to respect what is around us.  

Gary
Gary

Culling? It's the shark's bloody environment! They don't have a choice where they live. How about people staying the hell out of the water!

Archer Tallon
Archer Tallon

 Wow! Can I extrapolate this to the entire planet being some other animal's natural habitat and ask you to leave entirely?  Have some tact, man.

Ab-Sutra Fitness
Ab-Sutra Fitness

If we look at the mentality of taking out something just because it bothers us (even though we are in it's natural habitat) or misusing something (just because we have the ability  to do so) smacks of establishing  humans as being in control of all things on the planet.

Humans can alter (detrimentally) all things on the planet but humans aren't, in any way, in control of things on this planet.  We have not learned to live in harmony with the rest of the earth.  Humans do things  that tend to throw off the balance of nature just because these things allow us to engage in activities that bring on short term gain.

Strip mining, mountaintop mining, feedlots, killing predators, and Oil (raw material) processing are some examples of activities that allow for short term gain and sacrifice long term benefits and innovation.  Gary is not saying so much 'Stay out of the water' as much as he is saying 'be aware of what's in the water or stay the hell out'.  

Humans are the only species of animal on the planet that consistently and systematically damage the only home that they have . . . often for short term gain.  Many people rarely see beyond the pennies being dropped in front of them (or the millions of dollars swindled from society) to consider the long term consequences of their actions.  

The earth is trying to tell us to slow down, reflect and respect but we are going too fast to even hear that. 

ACE Coinage
ACE Coinage

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