Really a Golden State for Sharks?

29.09.2015 11:13
Kategorie: News

Shark Savers Germany produces documentary on shark cull in Western Australia

Film: A Golden State for Sharks - Shark Savers Germany
In 2014, Western Australia implemented a policy designed to reduce the number of shark attacks on humans on its beaches. Called the Western Australian shark cull, it targeted great white sharks, tiger sharks and bull sharks – those measuring more than three metres long - which are caught with the use of drum lines and killed.

The effectiveness of the policy was held in question by members of the public, various advocates and numerous scientists. In addition, people worldwide protested this organised, government-sanctioned killing of the sharks.

Ironically, even though great white sharks are protected in Australian waters, the Western Australian government was allowed to kill them. Reproductive females had been specially targeted, bringing about further strain on the shark population. The consequences for the marine ecosystem and ecotourism were certainly disastrous.

Despite this, the government claimed that the programme was a success and wanted to extend it to 2017. This led to an unprecedented public outcry from the general public and the scientific world.
Eventually, the programme was discontinued in Western Australia, although a shark culling programme still exists in Queensland.

Filming the documentary: A Golden State for Sharks

The team: Andreas Hilbich Johanna S. Zimmerhackel and Lena David.
The team (from left): Andreas Hilbich
Johanna S. Zimmerhackel and Lena David.

In 2014, marine biologist Johanna S Zimmerhackel was in Western Australia for three months to make a film. As the Scientific Director of Shark Savers Germany, she was there to document the shark hunt and speak to the local population, scientists, activists and politicians.

She was determined to find answers to the following questions: How useful were the programmes? How did they impact the shark population? How are sharks controlled in other parts of the world and what are humane alternatives to killing them? And most importantly, how can sharks and humans live together in harmony?

The film has been edited by Lena David and Andreas Hilbich, from VierZwoZwo Media in Cologne. Countless hours had been spent by the two volunteers in editing the production. The result is a wonderful and straightforward production that clearly and concisely sums up the shark situation in Western Australian. A thumbs-up for Shark Savers Germany!

Further Information: Shark Savers Germany