Jul 18, 2012

White Sharks are More Aggressive in Australia



The alarming increase in great white shark attacks off the coast of Australia has led local authorities to consider reviewing the status of protection of this great predator. “The five fatal attacks (ten months) are unprecedented and raises an alarm,” said Minister of Fisheries Western Australia, Norman Moore, in a statement to the media.

The latest victim was the 24-year-old Australian, Ben Linden, who was surfing last Saturday when a great white of five meters long emerged, near Wedge Island, about 180 kilometers north of Perth. Coastguard services are still searching for the remains of the young surfer, while the pursuit of the shark was suspended about 24 hours after the attack.

Few days earlier, the fishermen in the area had spotted the a shark. Moore called for “new measures” regarding the status of protection of the white shark, after saying that its population has increased almost two decades after being declared vulnerable. The shark attacks in Australia have risen more than in other parts of the world.

In time, authorities in Western Australia have ordered to close the beaches near the area of the attack. The representative of the Wildlife Society of Western Australia, Janita Enevoldsen, said in remarks that the exclusion of the great white shark from the list of protected species is not the right solution to these attacks.

Marin Garwood, Sydney Aquarium expert, questioned the existence of a direct relationship between humans and an increase shark attack. He said that there are no reliable statistics. According to Garwood, the latest attacks do highlight the increased presence of humans in new marine areas and noted that in the last decade, the practice of adventure sports such as surfing, has become popular.

The Ministry of Environment of Australia estimated that there were fewer than 10,000 copies of a white shark in 1990, which was incorporated in the list of species protected, although it is impossible to make an accurate assessment of the population. The first known fatal attack of a great white shark in the ocean country dates from 1791 and since then. there have been 689 cases, of which 200 have been fatal, according to Conservation Society of Australia.

The great white, which can grow to 5.5 meters long, became the world’s famous murderer in the 70’s. This aquatic animal usually feeds on fish and other species such as rays, marine mammals, shellfish and sea birds.



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