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Byron Shire
October 1, 2023

Mick Fanning was not ‘attacked’ by shark

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This is a call to cut the hysteria and remove shark nets and drum lines.

I will be sailing along the southeast Queensland coast next week from Byron to Hervey
Bay promoting marine conservation and the removal of shark nets and drum lines.

People around the world can see that the shark didn’t intend to attack and kill Mick Fanning and there is no need to get hysterical about sharks and that humans are not on sharks’ menu.

Hence the fear around sharks and the senseless shark nets and drum lines serve no real purpose except to entangle and kill marine life including whales and dolphins.

Mick Fanning wasn’t ‘attacked’ by the shark he punched during an encounter while surfing the final at Jefferys Bay. This shark that was probably 3-4 metres and could have bitten and killed Mick if it wanted to as he was in the water swimming without his board for about 15 seconds.

My feeling is that he was giving Mick a close check out, possibly he was intending to knock him off his board to see what it was that was in his ocean area, and it got caught in his leg rope.

If he really wanted to bite, eat or kill Mick he easy could have, being twice his size, three times his body weight and in his own seaworld.

Mick did the right thing in facing it and punching it. Mick said he was not going to go easy. Deeeeeep breath everyone. Everyone ok. no blood. Wooow, crazy stuff. Happy to see no surfers or organisers are calling for a shark cull or nets.

They acknowledged we are in their world and we do so at our risk. Had Mick been like some of the surfers in WA who were promoting culls and drum lines, I don’t know if his karma would have been so good.

There are some precautions we can take when entering their world, like not surfing in river mouths, at sunset, sunrise, cloudy days, near lobster pots, baits etc.

Also some concerned surfers are strapping on electric pulse anklets. There are spotting
options, tagging special sharks and rigid plastic shark nets that don’t entangle marine life.

In Australia there is a shark control program involving baited drum lines and shark nets that kill many non-target species including whales and dolphins.

This shark control program is nothing but a destructive and disgusting example of a policy, with no solid scientific backing, in fact more than 350 scientists have spoken out against the use of these devices.

They are simply used as a means to blindly fool the public into a false sense of security, they create more of a hazard than they do to keep people safe. It’s time people see the real destruction they cause.

There were 12 more dolphins caught and mostly killed just last year (2014) in Queensland alone! Not to mention hundreds of sharks, 19 sea turtles, eight whales, seven manta rays and many other species.

Since 1962, 50,000 sharks have been killed and 30,000 ‘by-catch’/non-targeted species were caught- many dying horrific deaths.

There are better alternatives out there that don’t trap or kill marine life, let’s use them!

The only way we are going to get alternatives happening is to get public support behind this. Please do not think this is a waste of time. These are the people that we need to change current legislation.

Dean Jefferys

Dean Jefferys is urging people to write to Bill Byrne, Minister for
Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Sport and Racing:
[email protected] and the Queensland Premier, email:[email protected] to ask them to remove the shark nets and drum lines.

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  1. Go easy on the sharks, they really love us…blah blah……

    More sentimental guff from the shark lovers. That shark must have been seriously blind, or just not hungry, not to have bitten Fanning in half. That fin was huge!
    He’s not a hero, just one very lucky dude.

  2. Dean – To state that Mick wasn’t under attack is foolish. You don’t know the sharks intentions. Nobody does. Interestingly, you go on to write,”..possibly he was intending to knock him off his board to see what it was…” Your own words sound pretty much like attack mode intentions to me. I get your larger point. I’m not for culling, either. But, to come off so “I know best” doesn’t help your cause.

    Now, if you really want to help your cause, reprimand the media (ahem, Echo guilty-as-charged) who’re using the shark hysteria money shot photo of the creature’s much larger tail fin to get that “oh my god it’s a MASSIVE shark we must keep reading” reaction from their readers rather than the much smaller dorsal fin photo we see about 1-2 seconds earlier in the sequence.


  3. Dean, I’m on your side. I’m all for shark and marine conservation. I’d ban all commercial harvesting/hunting/killing of wild marine resources if I could. You do your/our cause a disservice by on one hand claiming a lack of scientific evidence to back shark control measures, and on the other hand trying to substantiate your claims by saying “my FEELING is that he was just giving Mick a close check out” and that sharks apparently attack West Aussie surfers based on some form of karmic retribution.That kind of language might lead some on the conservative side to consign your opinions to the ‘dizzy green muppet’ basket. Again, I’m on your side and I applaud your continued efforts, but our best ammunition to win conservation battles is hard scientific data.


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