The shameless and rampant manner in which the main stream media finds politically motivated university ‘professors’ to quote in their stories needs more attention.
This time, I’ll at least respect the fact that Dr Neff appears to actually have done some mildly relevant research on the topic when he says the following:
Dr Christopher Neff, a shark expert at the University of Sydney told news.com.au a cull was not the solution while the targeted killing of sharks implicated in attacks was even more pointless.
“It’s a public confidence boosting measure, there’s no scientific proof killing individual sharks reduces the risk of shark bites.”
That said, I’m not sure if I’d be racing to call Dr Neff a ‘shark expert’ given that he has no formal qualifications in marine biology or science – unless you count public policy and ‘political science’ as being relevant here.
This then leads to the following lines of query just itching to be asked:
- If there is no proof that killing ‘individual sharks’ reduces the risk of shark attacks, does that mean the professor found proof that culling sharks reduces the risk of attacks? If so, game over, let’s get our cull on. If not…
- Does the professor have any scientific proof that killing individual sharks and shark culling are ‘not the solution’ in reducing the risk of shark attacks? Or has this all been the professor’s academic way of saying ‘after using all of my government research grant money, I still have absolutely no idea whether killing sharks is effective or not’?
- Doesn’t the ‘scientific proof’ which professor found so elusive lie in the immutable laws of mathematics and probability? That is, less dangerous sharks means less chance of getting eaten?
I tell you what professor, let’s set up two water tanks with each of us swimming in separate ones. One will have a great white shark in it and the other not. Given your above views, I’m sure you won’t mind if I pick first.