Australian Authorities Want To Have ‘Shark Attacks’ Rebranded As ‘Negative Encounters’ After Likely Eating Too Many Edibles - Stab Mag
Fancy an encounter? Photo: @geerald

Australian Authorities Want To Have ‘Shark Attacks’ Rebranded As ‘Negative Encounters’ After Likely Eating Too Many Edibles

Semantic Nonsense or Legitimate Enviro-Policy?

Words by Ethan Davis

The Australian Marine Conservation Society, along with the Queensland and NSW state governments, have taken steps to rebrand ‘shark attacks’ as “negative encounters”, “bites” and ‘incidents’ in an attempt to reduce shark fear and boost conservation efforts. 

This policy proposal came roughly 30 minutes after their marketing department were suspected of eating a batch of highly potent cannabis edibles.

“Why don’t we just rebrand shark attacks as ‘Oopsies?’”, giggled one red-eyed scientist who chose to remain anonymous. “Sharks are a social construct”, said another. 

The stroke of insight came after the state governments and marine societies noted the tremendous rebranding success stories of artists such as Nick Murphy (Chet Faker), Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) and Puff Daddy (P. Diddy). “If Ye can rebrand himself, why can’t sharks?”, said one woman with an 1000-yard stare. 

The Marine Departments argument is that the anthropomorphic term ‘attack’ unjustly attributes malicious intent to shark encounters. “This can snowball into shark hate and be used as ammunition for shark control programs that wreck marine ecosystems using baited drum-lines,” their presser added. 

This razor-thin line of argument between language and ecological conservation attempts to relate ‘sensationalism’ with the failed shark culling programs in WA that ran between December 2014 to March 2017 causing a heap of undesirable collateral damage to marine life that was not deemed a threat to humans. 

Since 2019, all of these programs (including the brief stint of SMART drum lines in Gracetown) have ceased, which for most people happily resolved their fear of shark eco-devastation. 

The absence of any real problems perhaps explains the Marine Societies latest rebranding proposal, which is the kind of policy you dream up when not much is happening in the office or you’ve eaten high potency edibles.

Rebranding shark attacks with euphemisms as vague as ‘negative encounters’ is breathtakingly stupid with undertones of moralising political-correctness that make sane people sigh. 

Number one, it makes the ocean no safer for swimmers and surfers. And number two, it forces people to use descriptions that don’t capture the truth of being attacked by sharks. 

To the Marine Societies, I propose to you, that if an alien visited earth and was bitten by Jaws whilst frolicking in the shoreline, do you think they would feel any better knowing they were just being ‘encountered’?.

Look, I understand that 99% of the time sharks interact with humans peacefully. But 1% of the time they definitely want blood.

Supporters of this policy change, please elaborate below. 

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