As everyone in Australia is more than well aware, there have been an awful lot of shark attacks off Western Australian beaches recently. There's been a lot of debate about what's actually causing the increase. One popular argument is that it's mainly because there are just so many more people in the water now than in the past. And more people means there's a greater chance of contact with ocean creatures.

I don't buy that one. As well the massive increase in the number of attacks, there is an alarmingly high number of sightings. It seems that not a day goes by without someone having another close call with a noah. And with every man and his dog carrying a video camera these days, these encounters are sometimes filmed.

Take this incident, in which a fisherman and his son shot footage of a large great white circling their boat just a few kilometres off Trigg Point. For those who don't know this is the main surfing beach in Perth. When the waves are good there are scores of keen surfers out there -- even on weekdays in the middle of winter.

When I was growing up I was an avid surfer, and must have spent hundreds of hours surfing at that very location. Never once did I see a shark there (or at any other local beach, for that matter).

It's pretty obvious that shark numbers -- particularly those of great whites, the most dangerous species -- have gone way up in recent years. That's why culling them seems to be the only sensible option.

Nets can only protect a few beaches, and not very well at that. And with so many potential man-eaters cruising around in the depths off Perth, the odds of another fatal attack are very high indeed. If the State Government doesn't pull its finger out and initiate a major cull straightaway, it will be forced to do so when West Aussies are outraged by yet another violent, watery death.

Of course greenies are siding with the sharks, rolling their eyes at man's "arrogance" and "stupidity". But do they seriously think that the entire population of a city should simply not go beach swimming again?

It's just not going to happen -- nor should it. Greenies are fond of saying they champion human rights. Well here's one that they're going to have to accept whether they like it or not: People have a right to go swimming at their local beach without fear of being torn to shreds by a bloody great shark!