Blog: Australia’s Shark Ecocide, Over

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Earth Dr. Reese Halter with Director Jeff Hansen of Sea Shepherd Australia at Los Angeles International Airport

Last week, Western Australia’s (WA) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rejected the cruel shark cull. The EPA found a “high degree of scientific uncertainty” surrounding the impact of baited drumlines on the endangered Great White sharks of the Indian Ocean.

Jeff Hansen, the Managing Director of Sea Shepherd Australia, told me, “The EPA should be congratulated for listening to the people, listening to the science and giving sharks and future generations the respect they deserve.”

Have you ever wondered what the greatest scavenger in the sea, a two-ton Great White shark, encounters in the Indian Ocean as it travels from WA to eastern South Africa, a distance of over 6,600 miles?

One hundred and seventy two magnificent sharks, 10 feet or longer, were brutally massacred between Jan. 25 and April 30 along the coast of southwestern WA. Fourteen sharks, measuring less than 10 feet in length, died on those barbaric drumlines. Four more were euthanized because they were too weak to survive the excruciating pain of being hooked for nine hours or longer.

Stingrays and Mako sharks, both protected species, were also slaughtered as unintended consequences of this ecocide. Did you know that Makos are the fastest sharks in the sea, attaining a top-end speed of 27 knots?

The earliest progenitors of sharks date back to around 400 million years ago. Sharks, as Jeff Hansen aptly coined them, are “Doctors of the Sea.” Apex predators, like some shark species, keep ecosystems in balance. They cull the old and weak, ensuing a high level of fitness amongst their prey. Sharks are also phenomenal disease-free creatures.

“The world’s children need healthy oceans and healthy oceans need sharks,” said a passionate Hansen.

Globally, shark numbers have plummeted by as much as 90 percent due to an enormous demand for their fins, served as sharkfin soup. At least73 million sharks are brutally annihilated each year for their fins.

The EPA received unprecedented interest in saving the sharks with over 7,000 submissions and two petitions with more than 25,000 signatories.

Our voices were heard. Indian Ocean sharks are free to roam and scavenge the sea!

We owe a debt of gratitude to the “No WA Shark Cull” movement and Sea Shepherd Operation Apex Harmony for protecting our sea. 

Join Earth Dr Reese Halter in his crusade to protect our planet by watching Earth Calling…SOS.