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Mandurah
Hi Mark Thank you for your quick reply. I enclose the tourist figures for WA for the y/e Sept 2013 which shows an increase in numbers and spend in WA tourism. http://www.tourism.wa.gov.au/Publications%20Library/Research/Research%20and%20Reports/Quarterly%20Visitor%20Snapshots/Fast%20Facts%20YE%20September%202013.pdf Please note the person leading the protest Natalie Robyn Banks is a dive instructor and many of those involved are surf life savers, divers and people working in jobs linked to the marine environment. I should also point out that I read that this young woman had a job offer withdrawn from the Department of Health which I find shameful in a democracy. I have no doubt that some large sharks do come close to shore and many more are being sighted by the increasing number of people in recreational boats some of whom attract them by churning. However how many have been killed by a Tiger shark in the last 50 years? Are we not getting ourselves in a frenzy - how many drown at the beach each year or in backyard pools? How many die in equestrian accidents? etc etc. The solution is greater education - for example why are surfers still surfing next to seal colonies down South? We also need to do more tagging and research and use the technology we now have available to increase warnings. The government has introduced some excellent initiatives and these should be commended but this cull will prove futile and damage the government's reputation. Killing sharks is not going to end fatalities. Leaving drum lines close to the shore is simply going to attract sharks for feeds - smaller sharks attached to the hooks (which Mr Barnett) said would not happen will simply attract bigger sharks for a feed. If someone is killed on a beach will a drum line will the Government be liable? If the government believes there is such a risk to human life on certain beaches should they not be closed to swimming (or again run the risk of liability). And why is the government removing the baits for the Rottnest swim if they think that the meat curtain will not attract sharks to the coast? Please note I have had emails from friends across the globe who were horrified to see the shooting of the Tiger shark on their news. This is having a negative effect on people's perceptions of WA. How can we also call for the Chinese government to end the slaughter of our state marine symbol the Whale Shark when we are conducting our own cull. This is a shark that brings great revenue to tourist operators just as the GWS does in South Africa. The same goes with whaling and dolphin culling by the Japanese. We are reducing our ethical standards and this can only have a negative effect. Please note the government often quotes 1 death in Queensland since the introduction of netting and other sheak measures - a quick search proves that figure wrong - remember the famous quote about stats!