Shark culling has become the new issue for the Australian media. Over the past three years, after seven fatal shark attacks in Western Australia’s waters, Premier Colin Barnett, declared to kill any shark bigger than three meters spotted in the designated kill zones. This culling has killed many sharks and is going to result to the extinction of these species. Miranda Devine published an opinion piece with the
headline “A tasty dish for a very big fish… and it’s all our fault” in The Daily Telegraph newsletter on February 12th, 2014 stating that it is our fault that we have become part of shark’s food chain. Julia Baird also published an opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald on the 1st of the February 2014, with the headline “Shark cull: From jaws of defeat” opposing that sharks should be culled for a safer environment for the beaches.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The selected poster from the website “Culling is not the answer” was published on the 25th of January, 2014 supporting that by killing sharks we are not making any difference on saving lives. Many people aren’t sacred to enter the territory of sharks and their environment. A number of Australian’s oppose the culling of sharks and do not fear of getting back into the ocean. Miranda Devine published an opinion piece with the headline “A tasty dish for a very big fish… and it’s all our fault” in The Daily Telegraph newsletter on February 12th, 2014 with the contention that it is our fault that we have become part of shark’s food chain. This is directed to the people that do not support the culling with a very direct tone. The author uses harsh words such as “Dirty” “scum” and stinking humans” to create a strong emotion, these strong words influences the reader to agree with the author’s main argument that “it is our fault that we have become a part of their food chain”.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The writer used a rhetorical question which states “how many more humans need to be attacked by sharks before we heed the warning?” in this way, the reader is positioned to agree with the writer’s contention that humans are the reason behind this shark attacks on humans, it is our fault that now great white are familiar with humans blood. Miranda’s use of anecdote “In South Australia, where the latest shark attack Adelaide teacher Sam Kellett, 28, was killed last weekend.” It gives an emotional feel and it draw’s the reader’s attention and adds interest to the article. Another use of anecdote, Vic Hislop, Australia’s most knowledgeable shark hunter, who has spent his life observing shark behaviour, believes that “sharks which develop a taste for humans need to be haunted down and killed” emphasise the reader to feel sympathy for these sharks and gain anger against him to say such a disturbing things about these species.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The website Supportourshrak.com published a poster saying “Culling is not the answer”. The directed audience of these posters are people of Australia and strongly to premier of Western Australia Colin Barnett. The tone of these posters presents a very annoyed and irritated tone. In the poster, the shark is shown behind the net which highlights that they are trapped in their own territory. Shark culling will affect the oceans ecosystem. The use of a strong word “Not” in the heading tells that by culling sharks, it is making no difference in saving lives. The poster is also not supporting the culling of sharks like other two articles and is contending the similar point of view that shark culling must be stopped. On the other hand Julia Baird published an opinion piece in The Sydney Morning Herald on the 1st of the February 2014, with the headline “Shark cull: From jaws of defeat” with the contention that humans have the right to feel safe on beaches and therefore sharks should be culled.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The tone of this article is supportive with a directed audience to Australian government. The writer uses a statistic in the beginning of the article “An estimate 4000 people gathered at Cottesloe Beach on January 4 to protest the shark cull: Steve Brown”. Position’s the reader to believe and agree with the author’s argument; it is more convincing because the evidence is presented. To support the evidence, Julia Baird has provided an image of the Cottesloe beach which again helps to persuade the reader’s to agree with the contention. The author also uses a rhetorical question “You can kill any shark that gets out of the sea and starts killing us in our natural habitat of street and pubs and internet cafes. Deal?” it positions the reader to question themselves about the shark culling.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The answer of the question is obvious and therefore the reader will agree with the Ricky Gervais that it is making no difference in saving lives, like Miranda Devine said in her article that “the ocean is not there to share. It is the shark’s domain which we enter at our own risk, with no right to protect over selves.” In these three articles the tone changes significantly. The poster uses annoyed and irritated tone to draw attention to the situation of the shark culling. Whereas, Miranda Devine’s an opinion piece uses a straight-forward and direct tone to get straight to the point of the contention. However, Julia Baird’s opinion piece uses a knowledgeable and emotive tone to address the issue of the shark culling and to make people feel safer at the beaches environment.</p>
The death of a shark in Western Australia has stirred up a lot of debate recently. That's because it's the first shark to be killed under Western Australia's new culling program. James took a look at the plan and why it's happening.
REPORTER, JAMES BARTOLD: When it comes to things that were scared of, sharks are usually pretty high up on the list. Although theyre terrifying, shark attacks are actually pretty rare. But they do happen and when they do theyre big news.
Over in Western Australia seven people have died from shark attacks in the past three years. The rest of Australia doesn't even come close to that number combined. So the WA government decided they needed to do something about it quickly.
Their plan was to catch and kill the sea giants if they come too close to the beach. To do this they set up shark 'no go zones'. These areas are surrounded by special hooked called baited drum lines. Sharks that go into these areas are seen as a threat and can be caught and killed. The problem is many sharks are endangered species so not all of them can be killed. They have to be either Great White, Bull or Tiger Sharks, and they must be bigger than three metres long.
Government spokesperson: Seven people dying in three years is a lot and we believe the government had to do something about it.
Colin Barnett, WA Premier: We're talking about only large sharks.
On Australia Day the first shark was caught entering a no-go zone. The 3metre shark was caught south of Perth and later killed. That made a lot of people very angry because not everyone agrees that killing sharks is a good idea.
Shark Cull Protester: This is shark culling and we say no!
Shark Cull Protester: Great Whites have rights!
They argue that sharks are an important part of the ecosystem and, rather than killing them, we should learn to live with them.
Sharon is one person you'd probably expect to support the new plan. Her son Kyle was killed by a shark in 2011. His death was one of the cases that brought about the new policy. But she doesn't support it at all.
Sharon Burden, Shark Attack Victim's Mum: You can't just say, were going to kill things because it interferes with my lifestyle, and, essentially, that's what's occurring here.
Not all shark attack victims agree though. Brian's another Aussie who's come face to face with a shark.
Brian Sierakowski, Shark Attack Survivor: His jaw came down 1.5 inches in front of my feet, so I was very lucky.
He disagrees with Sharon and says it's time to take action.
"There's no such culling. This is all about safety of people in the water".
So that's the argument for and against the culling of sharks. But what do you guys think is right?
Kid 1: We know that sharks would be in the water and thats the risk that we're taking
Kid 2: And its their home as well
Kid 3: It's like someone coming into our home and saying you have to leave it's not fair
Kid 4: I reckon maybe they just kill some of the sharks, some of the main ones, but keep some as well.
Kid 5: People are not going to want to swim if they know there's gonna be sharks that will come and eat them"
Kid 6: Put sign posts up or something saying there could be sharks there
Kid 7: Enter at your own risk