No WA shark cull – we are the voices

Me at the protest at Cottesloe Beach

Me at the protest at Cottesloe Beach

One of the most controversial topics already creeping its head in early 2014 is Western Australia’s shark baiting program – and in my opinion, oh boy does the WA Government have it wrong.

Today, more than 6000 protestors gathered at iconic Cottesloe Beach to voice their outrage at Premier Colin Barnett and his ‘culling’ program, many labelling the politician as either Cullin’ Barnett or Killer Barnett for his decision to capture and kill Great White, tiger and bull sharks over three metres in length caught in drum lines one kilometre from our shores.

He has told the media in previous days that those protesting are “not beach goers” – what a crock of crap.

There is so much anger amongst the community and our passion has been intensified with the first shark being caught just days ago and the Fisheries Department claiming it was a bull shark when snapshots proved it was indeed a tiger shark. That was the first lie…there will be more to come.

This morning’s protest was full of families, divers, beach goers, greenies, students…every single type of person you can think of, they were there. And what makes me proud to be a part of the voice is that there is now global uproar over this baiting program – news reports in the UK and Ireland, supporters snapped in Japan with a snow shark, protestors outside the Australian embassy in New Zealand, a school teacher in the US tweeting photos of his grade six students, celebrities like John Butler speaking out and of course rallies all across the country in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane as well as towns in WA like Bunbury, Shark Bay and Dunsborough.

In my opinion, Barnett’s best option would be to step down from office. He has claimed this week that, “an unprecedented number of fatalities have led to this decision”. I’m sorry, what?

There have been 11 shark fatalities off the WA coast since 2000, six of those since 2011.

To compare, according to the WA Police statistics, there were 162 total deaths from car crashes in 2013 ALONE.

Families of those fatally injured from shark attacks and those who have survived (here is another one) have stated (in the media) that their loved ones would not have wanted to see their attacking shark hunted and killed, or any other shark for that matter baited and destroyed for simply being a shark – why is Barnett not listening?

Sadly two underweight sharks were caught off the WA coast this morning – one died, one was let go.

Sharks are frightening but it’s their ocean and I take that risk every time I go into the water. We have no right to tread their waters and expect to own it. Sharks are apex predators and without them we unbalance the ocean.

What’s next – jellyfish?!?

More than 6000 people protested at Cottesloe Beach

More than 6000 people protested at Cottesloe Beach

A mermaid asks for help

A mermaid asks for help

A lone protestor voices his option

A lone protestor voices his option

Protestors in Japan. Photograph - Jenita Enevoldsen

Protestors in Japan. Photograph – Jenita Enevoldsen

For more information and shared photos from people who attended, visit

To join the campaign and sign a petition, visit


  1. So great that you were there Kate as a united voice for marine life! Fern x

  2. Hey Kate good article but for me there the “it’s their envirnoment” argument is not valid. If you live in a house then you are excluding animals from their natural environment for your safety and convenience. Humans define their environment, it’s not up to you to define it to suit your arguments. Unless you live in the bush with deadly snakes, ticks and leeches and eat leaves in which case I accept your argument.

    • Kate Dzienis says:

      Good points, and thanks for reading and commenting! Can I ask though, how is it not the animals’ environment when it comes to the ocean? We don’t live in the water and haven’t made underwater cities 🙂

      • But how do you define our environment? Anywhere we’ve made a city? That’s just somewhere where we’ve decided to exclude nature. Why can’t we decide the ocean also? I think it’s trivial whether we build an underwater city or not in terms of philosophy. Really our natural environment is the location in africa where humans first evolved, in the bush, living in caves with snakes, lions and parasites. If we can extend our environment from there no one is an authority on what the limit should be.

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