OPINION: Call for shark cull not supported by readers

DESPITE calls for a limited shark cull to be carried out to diminish the current threat of attack, it seems the majority of our readers don't agree.

A poll on the issue, which has been running on our website for a couple of days, revealed that 55% of respondents agreed sharks deserve their place in the ocean and should be protected.

A further 17% thought current methods of aerial patrols and early warnings were enough, while only 27% said there was too many in the ocean at the moment and they needed to be culled.

While we always stipulate these polls are not truly scientific, they are generally indicative, and have been fairly consistent throughout the spate of recent shark attacks in our region.

Certainly it accords with the view of our letter writer today.

Andrew Nieuwenhof says it won't stop his regular dives off the coast of Byron Bay and nor should it.

And, despite his claim of "sensational" media reporting, I'd counter that by saying even the Department of Primary Industries' shark expert, Dr Vic Peddemors, agreed this year had seen "unusual" shark activity in our waters.

Dr Peddemors said the occurrence and abundance of great whites in Northern NSW was not well known.

"Certainly this year appears to represent an unusual year in that there are more sightings, reports and interactions with humans," he said.

If something "unusual" occurs on the Northern Rivers isn't it the duty of the local media to highlight that?