Obscure Box

Thoughts from inside the obscure box

April 9, 2008

To kill or not to kill

Posted by : Michael Lund
Filed under : Media

The death of a teenager surfing off the northern New South Wales coast is tragic.

The focus now turns to the fate of the shark with the NSW state government activating its Shark Attack Response Plan.

That means the shark may be "eliminated", according to a report in the Sunshine Coast Daily (Tuesday 8 April 2008).

We journalists are warned time and time again to use only simple words in our copy.

By "eliminated" we mean killed. Saying "eliminated" doesn't sound quite so brutal, especially when at other times we read reports sympathetic of sharks amid fears some species are threatened.

See Bid to save threatened shark species and Northern river shark added to threatened species list
as just a couple of examples.

Even the NSW government lists the grey nurse shark as endangered, and the great white shark as vulnerable.

Lets face it, the shark today was only doing what sharks do. Looking for food.

Thankfully, they don't take to humans that often with the Shark Research Institute recording only 10 fatal shark attacks in Australian waters since 1947.

So if the state government is to kill this shark then, as reporters, lets say kill.

Personally, I think they should leave the shark alone and our authorities concentrate more on preventing deaths from bigger killers, such as smoking.

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All thoughts and comments here are the honestly held personal opinion of Michael Lund and are based on the information available at the time of publication.