sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Not shark 'attack', it's an 'accident' + Video

Not shark 'attack', it's an 'accident' + Video

'If you’re bitten, it’s a case of mistaken identity.'    James Cook University
The concept of the 'rogue' shark, seeking revenge on its human nemesis is nothing more than Hollywood fodder, say experts, including Christopher Neff, a researcher at the University of Sydney carrying out the world's first PhD on the politics of 'shark bite incidents'.

He says we should drop the term 'attack' and all the other emotive language as sensationalist and misleading.

'Swimmers are in the way, not on the menu,' he says. 'There is no evidence any shark species develops a taste for human flesh.'

Neff does not want to downplay the tragedy of serious or fatal encounters with these apex predators of the sea, particularly during this summer of heavy rain, when swimmers will are warned to avoid bathing at dawn, dusk or in cloudy conditions.

'Shark bites are scary,'continues Neff, but persistent myths and sensationalism can lead to ineffective, political solutions, such as the recent authorisation of a shark hunt in Western Australia after three deaths, which would have made no swimmer safer if it had gone ahead.

What is needed from scientists and authorities is straight talking and good information, such as the facts that shark numbers increase in summer in Parramatta River and Sydney Harbour, and people shouldn't swim there for three days after heavy rain because sewage attracts sharks.

Neff, an American, said it was wrong for incidents always to be described as attacks, when bites are often defensive or done out of curiosity.



About 13 per cent of so-called shark attacks in NSW, on Australia's east coast are by wobbegongs, for example.(a carpet shark species that does not attack unless prevoked) 'That means someone was stepping on it or pestering it,' says Neff, adding that before the 'rogue shark' concept, shark attacks were often referred to as 'shark accidents'.

And after some fatalities in the 1920s, a NSW government committee nevertheless concluded 'sharks do not patrol the beaches on the off-chance of occasionally devouring human prey'.

But the notion of rogue sharks, made internationally famous by the movie Jaws, has persisted. 'And now we see it in a policy response in 2011 [with the proposed hunt].'

Humans are of little interest, according to Nuff, since they provide low nutrition. If sharks wanted to attack people, there would be many more bites, given the increasing numbers of swimmers.

Amy Smoothey, a shark researcher with the NSW Department of Primary Industries, said that on Australia Day last year there were seven tagged mature bull sharks in Sydney Harbour, sharing the waters with thousands of people, including those in a harbour swim event. Yet there were no incidents or reported sightings.

Her tagging research is aimed at providing the public with more information about where the bull sharks are most likely to be.

That sharks visit the harbour indicates it is a healthy waterway. 'We should be grateful for their presence,' she says.

Sharks have killed one person a year in Australia, on average, for the past 50 years.

Worldwide, there is increased interest in shark 'incidents', with five encounters in the past week, all in places where the predators are unusual.

Marine scientists said the incidents in the Seychelles and four others in Russia and Puerto Rico - all areas not usually known to attract aggressive sharks - could be a result of warmer waters caused by climate change.

But they all agree science does not yet fully understand the behaviour and movement of sharks.




by Media Services

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=93098

1:02 PM Sat 21 Jan 2012 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


News - USA and the World

Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,






















Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games by Anna Tunnicliffe, Pittsburgh, PA
























Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek by Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Race Week 2014,














2014 Governor's Cup - Two former winners in the finals by Nancy Mellon, Corona del Mar, CA


America's Cup: Iain Murray explains reasons for Australian withdrawal *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, New Zealand




2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Set to start
PWA Pozo World Cup - Moreno twins dominate home spot
ISAF Youth Worlds - Record breaking regatta in Tavira + Video
Melges 32 European Championship - Robertissima remains out front
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Italians take one-point lead
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Marstrom 32 fleet off to anxious start
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Max Ranchi
CYC Race to Mackinac - Cruising fleet sets sail in 106th edition
Team Alvimedica getting a touchup
PWA Pozo World Cup - Plenty of drama on day 5
ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship - Day 5 Videos
NYYC Race Week - High performance classes put on shoreside show
2014 Pacific Cup - 'Invisible Hand' the first boat to finish
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - B.C.'s Eric Holden skippers wins
America's Cup: Updates on Team Australia withdraw
J/70 North American titles - Brian Keane moves to top of leaderboard
2016-2017 America's Cup - Team Australia withdraws
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander takes charge
America's Cup: Team NZ disappointed, but on track after Australians go
America's Cup: Hamilton Island decides not to proceed with Challenge.   
America's Cup: Challenger of Record withdraws from Regatta   
WWA Wakeboard National Championships head to Waco   
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Day 2   
RP52 Scarlet Runner sails in San Francisco   
2014 Governor's Cup - Nevin Snow and team on form   
ISAF Youth Worlds - Americans claim silver medals in Tavira   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Day 1   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 2 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
Windsurfing and Kiteboarding World Cup to take place on Fuerteventura   
ISAF Youth Worlds - Medals decided in thrilling Tavira conclusion   
7th Annual Swim for Cystic Fibrosis to take place July 21st   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 2 images by Max Ranchi   
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek, Day 2 - It just keeps getting better   
ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship final day preview   
AWT Pacasmayo Classic 2014 - Catching up with Levi Siver   
Top Kiwi Laser sailor just avoids being on downed airliner   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Trans-Atlantic: Team Alvimedica - 500 Miles   
Pacific Cup 2014 – Photos of ‘Invisible Hand’   
International 14 World Championships - No excuse for not being there   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT