Ocean News

Researching Responses to Shark Bites

18th September 2011

Earlier this month, an Australian surfer died in a tragic shark incident, reigniting the debate on using shark nets to protect swimmers as well as provoking calls to hunt and kill the animal responsible. Christopher Neff, a SOSF-sponsored researcher who is looking at how communities in Australia, South Africa, and the United States respond to shark attacks, has been making media appearances in Australia, explaining why such measures are ineffective and outdated:

“The policies in Australia do not match up, they are more outdated and the laws to hunt down and kill sharks and, to be frank, beach meshing and even drum lines to kill sharks throughout the year just re-enforce the fears that people don’t have any more. They appreciate there is a dynamic beach eco-system that is out there.”

He also emphasizes that:

…fatal shark bite incidents can lead to balanced management approaches to make beaches and surf locations safer for bathers while also conserving sharks.

Listen to ABC Canberra Radio’s interview with Chris here.