03/31/2012 - A diver was killed by a 13-foot shark Saturday off a beach in southwestern Australia, in the region’s fourth shark-related fatality since September, according to authorities.
The news that 33-year-old businessman Peter Kurmann had died while diving with his brother Gian Kurmann came one day after fishery managers adopted new protections for sharks in the western and central Pacific Ocean.
The two brothers were diving off Stratham Beach, about 140 miles south of Perth. State police spokeswoman Sgt. Naomi Smith said Peter Kurmann appeared to be killed instantly, while his brother was not hurt, according to the Associated Press.
Matt Rand, who directs the Pew Environment Group’s global shark conservation program, hailed the new protections for oceanic whitetips but lamented Kurmann’s loss.
“Of course it’s tragic every time there’s an accident with a shark. It is very rare,” Rand said in an interview.
“Unfortunately sharks are being wiped out of the world’s oceans very rapidly,” Rand added, saying the new measures “affords an opportunity for the species to recover and play a key role in the marine ecosystem, keeping the marine ecosystem in balance.”
Read the full article, Shark Kills Diver Off Southwest Australia, on the Washington Post's website.