Yesterday we brought you Kelly Slater’s response to another shark attack death occurring in Reunion Island, and his later expansion upon it. Now, after a huge backlash on social media, he has spoken again.
Not only does his new post mention his impressive conservation record, but it further clarifies his position and the rationale behind it. In it Kelly also encourages people to start a dialogue about the issue in the comments section, which is a bold move. Here is what he had to say:
Please say what you feel you need to say to me below. I promise I’ll read all the comments and respond if I can. I have been an environmental activist and voice for more campaigns than I can remember. I’ve worked with Rhinos in South Africa to bring awareness and education to the poaching issues they experience. I’ve been a vocal opponent to #SharkFinning and find it a despicable practice which has no place in our world. I’ve worked with the @bosfoundation and raised funds for the protection and awareness around the plight of the Orangutans. I want to become vegan due to the treatment and slaughter of the most defenseless and innocent animals on this planet. I produce clothing from discarded fishing nets to help clean up the mess left behind by fishing industry. My heart is in the right place but now I am being vehemently attacked by the people I have most identified with for the majority of my life. Humans are the biggest threat to life on earth as most creatures know it. But they are also the most capable and able to fix the issues we face. My comments were in reaction to another death of a kid following his passion. I know more about this issues than 99+% of people commenting yet I still don’t know enough. I was in no way advocating for a worldwide destruction of any species. In fact, there’s a chance many more species of sharks and other sea life could thrive without the over abundance of bull sharks in Reunion Island ravaging the local environment. This is not about me having fun and being selfish for my sport. This is a human and environmental issue. Attacking me will do no good in the conversation that will continue to need to happen for resolution around this topic. I have never personally killed even a single shark in my lifetime and am not fronting an effort to do so. So say what you need to say and let’s get on with where this needs to go. Maybe something good will come of it.