Target: Kelly Slater, world-famous surfing champion
Goal: Rescind call for French government to cull sharks daily in response to attacks on humans.
Surfing legend Kelly Slater has suggested that France’s government should cull sharks daily in response to an increase of fatal attacks. Since 2011, 20 people have been attacked by sharks off the coast of Reunion, a French island. Of those, eight have died. The most recent death, that of a 26-year-old boogie boarder, prompted Slater to make the rash, public demand for massive culling efforts.
Although the French government has not yet shared any plans of a possible shark cull, it is important that Slater understand the ignorance and implications of his comments. The eight human deaths caused by Reunion’s sharks, while tragic, pale in comparison to the estimated 273 million sharks that are killed by humans every year. Healthy shark populations are vital to maintaining balance in ocean ecosystems, and culling has the potential to seriously harm this delicate balance. Tell Slater to withdraw his irresponsible pro-culling comments and consider more harmonious solutions by signing the letter below.
Dear Mr. Slater,
Your informal proposal to the French government for a daily culling of sharks may have had good intentions, but culling would harm sharks far more than it would benefit humans. Shark culling is largely ineffective and unsustainable, especially when you consider that over 270 million sharks are already being killed by humans every year.
To you, Reunion’s waters may be a great place to surf, but to these sharks, they’re home. That being said, sharks have much more of a right to be in the ocean than surfers, and unlike surfers, their presence is not optional. Please consider promoting a more compassionate and sustainable solution to Reunion’s shark attacks.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: socha.powel