Satirists' shark fight 'joke' article strikes a nerve

DID you hear about the 42-year-old man who fought off a shark at Maroochydore last Thursday using his severed leg from the initial attack?

No?

Neither did anyone else.

It is just "satirical" news site the Stately Harold's latest attempt at a joke guised as news.

But it's a joke that has struck a nerve with Sunshine Coast Destination CEO Simon Ambrose and surf coach Robbie Sherwell.

Both believed the timing of the piece, published online on August 6, was poor.

"I think it would be better to take things like this seriously considering people have lost their lives (in shark attacks)," Mr Ambrose said.

"I would prefer to see a more reasoned debate to discover and determine the dichotomy between our apex predators in the water and maintaining our tourism lifestyle."

Is it poor taste to publish satirical news stories about shark attacks?

This poll ended on 13 September 2015.

Current Results

Yes, especially considering the number of serious attacks we have had in Australia

43%

No, you should be able to recognise a joke story

49%

If it starts affecting our tourism numbers it is a problem

6%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Real shark attacks have been all too familiar news for Mr Ambrose, who used to live in Western Australia.

And now, with several shark attacks reported along the northern New South Wales coast, sharks are again in the headlines.

"The Northern NSW incidents have been absolutely tragic.

"At the moment there are a huge amount of whales going up the coast and whales and their calves attract predators

"With climate change and water temperatures rising, we will be getting more coming into our waters

"I don't think anyone should make light of it."

Mr Ambrose said he had heard recreational tourism in Ballina and Northern New South Wales was suffering as a result of the shark attacks.

Surf coach Robbie Sherwell from XL Surfing Academy agreed it was "not good timing" for a shark attack joke.

"It's all good fun as far as they're concerned, but it is silly in light of what's being going on," Mr Sherwell said.

Attempts to contact the Stately Harold were unsuccessful.



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