Should we cull sharks in Réunion Island ?

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Should we cull sharks in Réunion Island ?

If you haven’t heard what has happened recently or has been happening since a decade ago, this post title might offend you, but when you listen to Kelly Slater’s words on the shark problem of the French island of Réunion, you might think otherwise:

Honestly, I won’t be popular for saying this but there needs to be a serious cull on Reunion and it should happen everyday [sic]. There is a clear imbalance happening in the ocean there. If the whole world had these rates of attack nobody would use the ocean and literally millions of people would be dying like this. The French govt needs to figure this out asap. 20 attacks since 2011!?”

These words might come a bit as a contradiction in Kelly Slater’s attitude towards the oceans and animal protection. It might have been a slip-up from Kelly, or maybe his old words concerning the protection of the oceans were just politically correct words that every celebrity must say once in their lifetime. But this time, after another surfer’s death at Réunion, Kelly, who knows the spot, steps out of all correctness and says his most sincere opinion on the case: “There should be a shark cull in Réunion”.

So here is the dilemma, are we qualified as humans to kill animals in order to ‘balance’ situations ? In my opinion, we sometimes need to kill animals to eat them because we as humans need to eat, but when the reason behind killing animals is surfing, I’m not so sure about our right… Do we have one?

The truth is that there is a seriuos problem in Réunion and it’s not new, in words of Jeremy Flores:

“Unfortunately, it feels like it’s difficult for people to understand the issues we are having here,” he wrote. “People are dying one after another and for some this sounds normal but it really isn’t. The community of Réunion island surfers are naturally ocean & environment lovers since many generations but things are getting really serious and we are tired of crying our brothers. It’s time for unity to protect our small Coast. Thank you for your comment, it gives hope that somebody who knows so well the environment is understanding the nightmare we are living here. And to all the other haters, please try to understand our situation here before giving a blind opinion.”

Honestly, for me this is the mere essence of hypocrisy, it’s always the same. If you let me a comparison, One is a communist and wants to share everything until he wins the lottery; people speak about animal protection until they are menaced by wolfs or sharks. Then you think twice and understand that nature doesn’t know about respect nor justice, nature is nature, and if a wolf or a shark is hungry, they won’t go to Parliament to discuss whether or not to kill you. But we humans, we are just hypocrites. Having said this, I appreciate Slater’s honesty, we should all speak like this from time to time, and leave political correction aside. I’m not saying we should kill animals for free or disrespect them, I’m a doglover myself, I’m just saying that if a wolf kills my baby or my wife, or brother as a result of imbalance, I would also pray for a cull.

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