Target: Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Goal: Repeal dangerous and inhumane catch and kill shark-hunting policy in Australia
On January 26, 2014, a fisherman caught a 10 foot tiger shark on his baited line and shot the animal in the head four times with his .22 caliber rifle. The carcass was later towed out to sea where it was dumped. A policy allowing this kind of catch and kill behavior was recently enacted by the Australian government to protect beach goers from shark attacks. It allows fishermen to kill tiger, bull, or great white sharks that are longer than three meters, and that come within a kilometer of the shore. This policy has caused outrage among many conservationists.
With shark numbers on the decline because of Asian appetites for shark fin soup, many conservationists and activists are especially concerned about this new policy. So far, two sharks have died this way. The policy was made as a reaction to seven fatal shark attacks on swimmers in the past three years. The latest attack was in November 2013, when a 35 year old swimmer was killed. The policy required an exemption from a federal law protecting biodiversity, and the cull will continue until April.
Conservationists are calling foul play, stating that one of the species being targeted – the tiger shark – is one of the most innocent of sharks and shouldn’t be killed. There are also concerns about a population boom in other species. If large sharks are being killed, it allows other species to flourish, ruining the ecosystem. Sharks are responsible for getting rid of sick, weak, and injured marine animals; diminishing their numbers will allow the stingray population to grow and deplete the scallion colonies. The great white shark is on the endangered list, and the bull and tiger shark could shortly join it.
This policy needs to be repealed immediately. While the government has the public’s safety in mind and is trying to protect tourism, these sharks don’t have a voice. These sharks are merely trying to eat and they are a part of the planet’s valuable ecosystem. Sign this petition and demand the Prime Minster reject this policy.
Dear Prime Minister Toby Abbott,
The catch and kill policy for sharks should be immediately repealed, as it endangers not only the shark population, but other species as well. The policy of killing large sharks that are within a kilometer of the beach is unacceptable, and could lead to a population boom in other species. The great white shark, which is among the three sharks that are allowed to be killed, is already endangered; the bull and tiger shark could easily make this list soon.
As you may already know, the shark population is in great decline because of the demand for shark fin soup in Asia. I ask that you don’t further damage their numbers and let them live in peace. I know your government has the public’s safety in mind, but these sharks deserve to hunt and feed. Your nation has implemented many measures to prevent shark attacks, surely killing them shouldn’t be necessary?
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Albert kok via Wikimedia