Twenty-four year old Benjamin Linden became Australia’s fifth great white fatality this year when he was bitten in half by a 16-foot shark while surfing off the coast of Perth Saturday. Jet skier Matt Holmes told the Australian TV channel ABC about his effort to retrieve what was left of the body.
“There was blood everywhere. I reached to grab the body … but as I did that, the shark came back and nudged the jet-ski to try to knock me off. I just thought about his family and if he had kids,” Holmes said. “I just wanted to get him to shore. [But] when I came back the second time, it took the rest of him.”
This latest attack is just one example of why scientist have labeled Australia’s west coast as the deadliest shark attack zone in the world and one of the reasons many are questioning whether the great white should be removed from Australia’s “threatened species” list. Fisheries Minister Norman Moore explained, “I wonder if research might tell us that there are now much greater number of great whites than ever before, and maybe we should look at whether they should remain a protected species.”
Mr. Moore added that he would be lobbying the government to lift the ban on commercial and recreational fishing of great whites. The species became federally protected in the 1990’s.
Unfortunately, there is no accurate estimate for a global great white shark population.
This move could be long overdue considering that Australia now averages 15 great white attacks per year. Linden’s attack was the fifth this year.
Stay tuned as Outdoor Life will continue to update you on this story. In the mean time, would you go fishing for great white off Australia if that became legal? Comment below!