The spree of fatal shark attacks off the coast of Western Australia has prompted local officials to call for an end to the “protected species” status afforded to great white sharks.
The death of 24-year-old surfer Ben Linden over the weekend was a brutal reminder of the recent surge in shark attacks. Linden was the fifth person in ten months to be killed by a shark.
“This has been a growing problem, not just a passing one,” said Dr. Bob Hueter, director of Mote Marine Laboratory’s Shark Biology and Conservation center in Sarasota, Flordia.
Many have pointed to the great whites’ protected species status as a possible cause of the increased attacks. The ban on killing great whites has caused the shark population to surge, resulting in more cases of shark injuries.