mad-as-a-marine-biologist:

The Global Shark Conservation Initiative reports the first shark has been killed in La Réunion.

If you haven’t heard of this atrocity allow me to summarise:

- Two surfers suffered from shark attacks this month. One lost his life, the other suffered the loss of a hand and a foot (other reports say ‘nearly’ lost). Last year, two surfers were also attacked by sharks. 

- The species of shark involved has not been named. 

- Over 300 locals and surfers rallied outside the central police station demanding a shark cull OR in other reports, protesting against denial of a cull (see below)

- Town officials say the numbers of Tiger and Bull sharks have multiplied in recent times because although it is legal to fish them, fishermen report that the sharks contain a toxin that causes severe food poisoning. The lack of fishing pressure is named as the cause of the population increase.

- The French Overseas Minister initially refused permission for a regulated cull, but this has apparently been retracted and permission is now granted for “scientific purposes”.

- Ten Tiger sharks and ten bull sharks are to be culled.

If anyone has any corrections or further information, please do share. 

The cull was originally proposed to make “the oceans safer for people”. La Réunion reportedly has a healthy shark population, but other reasons have been listed as possible reasons for an increase in attacks.

There is poor waste management and surf spots are polluted with food waste and excrement. Bull sharks are known to be attracted to ‘dirty’ waters. Additionally, the time of day people are choosing to surf may also be a factor.

Read some of these:

1, 2, 3, 4 

Blindly culling sharks that “might” be the “culprit” is hardly the answer. It will not make the oceans safer, it sets a terrible precedent and it solves nothing. A complete waste of shark, and a dangerous game to play with ecosystem balance. 

There is a petition you can sign, though it hardly seems enough, it’s at least something you can do: prove that this is unacceptable to the international community.

 http://www.avaaz.org/fr/petition/Arreter_le_massacre_des_requins_a_la_Reunion/

Fewer sharks do not “make the ocean safer for people.” It just proves how blindly ignorant people are.