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Beach Grit

Here: The Great White Shark Vigilantes!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

"Someone is going to die and that’s the unfortunate reality of it."

Ain’t no fun when your town becomes, of all a sudden, the “Isle of Jaws.” Esperance is a pretty, and let’s face it until recently pretty dull, town seven hundred clicks south-east of the Western Australian capital, Perth.

In April, the seventeen-year-old surfer Laeticia Brouwer was attacked and killed by a Great White shark in front of her family while surfing at an Esperance beach.

“It’s severely hectic down here and someone is going to die and that’s the unfortunate reality of it,” Esperance Ocean Safety and Support Group leader Mitch Capelli told Perth Now

According to reports, Esperance fishermen are baiting and killing Great Whites because of a lack of government action. Fishermen hooked a feisty ten-footer that had been filmed biting and bumping boats on three different days.

“A lot of people have been calling me up and saying, ‘Let’s just go out and catch it because no one else is going to do it’. I’ve really been strongly advising against it because if we’re going to be taken seriously then we need to be … going about things the right way,” says Capelli.

The shark expert and filmmaker David Riggs told Perth Now that Esperance “is the latest White shark hotspot (to be) recognised on the planet. Before we had dropped anchor we had six 15-foot Great Whites pushing our boat around. It’s full-on.”

The Great White is a protected species, of course. And the law’s gonna come down on anyone who rolls back to the dock with a dead White on the deck.

So what sorta heat y’gonna get if you ice a White?

First offence. Ten gees.