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21 February 2011 - Great white sharks need more protection, not less      

Great white sharks need more protection, not less

21 February 2011                                        
                                                                         

Humane Society International today expressed its alarm over calls to reduce numbers of the protected great white shark in Australia’s waters, following the tragic event last week when a diver, Peter Clarkson, was killed in waters off the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.  

Great white sharks have been protected in Australia since 1999, as a result of an HSI nomination, following concerns of their decline. Since that time there is no evidence to suggest that great white sharks have experienced a surge in numbers.

“Great white sharks like many sharks are very slow to recover from the depletion of their numbers, and although much effort has been put into the conservation of these amazing animals since their protection in 1999, much more needs to be done to reverse this decline” said Alexia Wellbelove.

“As apex predators, great white sharks sit at the top of the food chain and help to regulate the balance of life in the waters all around them. Research shows massive depletion of sharks has negative and cascading effects throughout ocean ecosystems. Surely we all want healthy oceans and that means we need our great white sharks in order to help us achieve this” said Alexia Wellbelove. 

Sadly this tragedy occurred in an area well-known as critical habitat for the great white shark, where it is thought they come to feed. As a professional diver Peter Clarkson would have logged many thousands of hours underwater, and had only once before reported an encounter with a great white shark.

 





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