Great White Bites Aussie Surfer in Half

Shark's protected status in question

Ryan O'Hanlon

Australian officials are calling for a review of the great white shark’s protected species status after a surfer on the western coast was attacked and killed on Saturday, the region’s fifth great-white fatality in 10 months. Benjamin Linden, 24, was bitten in half while surfing off of Wedge Island, just north of Perth. A jet-ski rider who attempted to retrieve Linden’s body says the shark then attempted to knock him off his PWC. The shark, nicknamed “Brutus” by local surfers, is believed to be up to 16 feet long. “I wonder if research might tell us that there are now much greater number of great whites than ever before,” said Western Australia Fisheries Minister Norman Moore, “and maybe we should look at whether they should remain a protected species.” Historically, there have been about 15 shark attacks per year in Australia, with just one being fatal.

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