Western Australia’s Esperance at breaking point over shark fears

Western Australia’s Esperance at breaking point over shark fears, by Andrew Burrell.

The waves are rolling in from the Southern Ocean as Mitch Capelli gazes at the surf break where a shark killed 17-year-old Laeticia Brouwer in front of her horrified parents and sisters.

“Someone else is going to die,” says the 25-year-old Esperance schoolteacher who has emerged as the leader of a rebellion against a perceived failure to protect ocean users from the threat of ­another attack.

The otherwise laid-back surfer is angry with “do-gooders” who oppose killing even the most ­aggressive sharks, and frustrated that governments have long failed to heed warnings that the rising number of sightings would lead to a gruesome death in the waters near his picturesque home town. …

The Weekend Australian spoke to scores of Esperance surfers who are wary of entering the water and parents who won’t let their kids go swimming. The town is abuzz with stories of surfers who have recently survived close encounters with sharks — several at Kelp Beds.

“If I want to go surfing, I go to Sydney,” says Neville Mansted, a shark fisherman who has witnessed the number of great whites increasing since they were protected by law in the 1990s.

“Human life must be worth more over in the eastern states than it is here.”

You have to choose: people or sharks. The Greens and the PC elite chose sharks — too bad for the serfs.

hat-tip Stephen Neil