HAPPY DAYS: A welcome visitor to the bay in contrast to the menacing presences in the water lately
HAPPY DAYS: A welcome visitor to the bay in contrast to the menacing presences in the water lately slideaholics.com

OPINION: The ocean is not ours to control

So the subject of culling sharks raises its head yet again. What's the plan? We can't kill all of them.

I can't help but wonder if this is about the very human need to feel in control, more than anything else.

Well guess what? Where the ocean is concerned, we're not in control. Not you, not me, not anyone.

Sure we can make reasonably educated decisions based on our understanding of it. Yet when we start believing that we're actually in a position of control in the ocean. That is the very moment when we've lost respect and our sense of perspective for that extremely powerful and unforgiving environment, and that's when things go wrong.

The ocean is vastly more powerful than any of us. We can't hold back the tides, we can't stop erosion or turn off storms and we can't kill off all the sharks in a given region.

The only thing culling will do. Is give a false sense of security to those who don't wish to be honest with themselves about the reality of the environment, which we choose to enter of our own free will.

With culling comes the risk that people could become complacent, and that's even more dangerous in the long term.

A little bit of common sense wouldn't go astray here. The majority of these sharks will most likely move on when their food source moves on.

Patience is what's really required here more than anything else. If the number of sharks in our region right now disturbs or frightens you, then do something else for a while.

Also it wouldn't kill us to look at the magnetic imitation kelp style barriers being trialled in South Africa, if we're all so worried. But culling as a solution is unlikely to help.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm no shark cuddling tripper. If it was natural for sharks to simply no longer exist, I really wouldn't mind in the slightest.

I've had many close encounters over the years, and the damn things freak me out when it's a close call.

We all know sharks are unpredictable at best. But it is their house, not mine. I choose to put myself in their environment, they don't come into mine. I choose the risks I take, which means I also choose when not to take risks.

Right now while activity is high, I don't surf nearly as often as I normally would. I choose to wait, because if 40 plus years in the water has taught me anything, it's this.

Things are always changing out there, this disturbing chapter of high shark activity in our region should pass eventually, if we just wait.

Stay safe, wait your turn, and surf today like you want to surf again tomorrow.Photos supplied by slideaholics.com


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