Shark-attack victim's family opposes kill order

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Posted by on December 17, 2004 at 10:59:03:

In Reply to: GREAT WHITES KILL SURFER posted by Mike on December 16, 2004 at 13:02:57:

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - The father of an Australian teenager ripped in half by a shark while swimming at an Adelaide beach says he opposes plans to kill the creature.

Nick Peterson, 18, died on Thursday after he fell off a surfboard being towed near the crowded West Beach and was attacked by a great white shark.

The South Australian government authorized police and wildlife officers to destroy the shark, which officials think they've spotted a few kilometres north of the beach.

"We are of the view that if any shark poses threat or risk to human life a large shark close in waters posing a threat to human life should be destroyed," said territory's acting premier, Kevin Foley.

But the victim's father, Philip Peterson, said Friday that his family is against killing great white sharks, which are a protected species, because authorities can't be sure they have one that attacked his son.

"We acknowledge that the sea is in fact the shark's domain and we don't, and I certainly personally don't, advocate the indiscriminate killing of any shark," he said.

He said the government should instead electronically tag sharks known to inhabit metropolitan beaches.

The teen's friends and family held a vigil at the beach on Thursday night, including one of three boys who were in the towboat and tried to beat the shark off with oars.

* FROM DEC. 16, 2004: Shark attacks claim 2 Australians

The teenager's remains have not been recovered, despite extensive searches of the coast.

The beach will remain closed as officials hunt for the shark. Earlier, authorities had said they thought two sharks were involved.

The fatal attack was the third in recent months in Australian waters.

Only six days earlier, a man was killed while spear-fishing on the Great Barrier Reef near Cairns, on the northeastern tip of Australia.

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