I love sharks. Always have. They are one of two surviving ‘monsters’ that inhabit Australia and scare the crap out of all of us. The other monster is the Saltwater Crocodile affectionately known as a ‘Salty.’ Both of these creatures were hunted to the point where they are now protected from humans by law. They are true survivors of nature. Largely unchanged for millions of years and truly masters of their domain. They are perfect killing machines at the top of their food chains. They are to be admired from a distance, studied, learned from and best kept away from.
Don’t our media love a ‘Croc Attack’ and a ‘Shark Attack’? They insist on poring over all the gory details scaring people out of their wits and leave us with the impression that an ‘attack’ could happen to anyone at anytime. The reality is you’re more likely to die falling out of bed or tripping on a cricket bat. But that’s not such a great headline. This brings me to a recent ‘Shark Attack’. It seems that a sizeable bunch of locals want to ‘find the rogue shark and kill it.’
Is it just me or does this sound more than a little crazy? We don’t chop down a tree if a car smashes into it killing the occupants. We don’t blow up a reef is a ship runs aground on it and people drown. Why the human desire to kill a wild creature that is simply doing what it has been doing very successfully for millions of years?
The mother of the young man taken by the shark is horrified that people would want to ‘kill the shark’ as her son loved the ocean and all things in it. There’s talk of rings of baited hooks one kilometre off shore to ‘deter the shark.’ Here’s the thing – we have not only tamed nature but pretty much brought nature to her knees with our continued destruction of habitat, breeding grounds and food sources. Do we really need to dominate the last two ‘monsters’ we are fortunate to share our country with?
Let’s continue to protect these magnificent species who have much to teach us about how we live our lives. When we have a few million years track record of living within our means and creating no waste perhaps then we can start to crow about our achievements.
Here’s to the last two ‘monsters’ out there. May they continue to munch on us for millennia.
Jason Kimberley – Founder and CEO Cool Australia