Friday, 27 February 2009
In defence of sharks!
Poor old sharks have been getting a bad press here with two recent attacks on people in Sydney waters. A navy diver has lost a hand and a leg, and a surfer ended up with his hand only just hanging on by a thread. Suspects are bull sharks in both cases.
There has been loads of the usual alarmist news reporting about this and people have been put off going in the water because it’s so ‘unsafe’. As usual when you dig a bit deeper, the reality is a bit different:
1. Sharks are known to feed at dawn and dusk so sensible people avoid being in the water at those times – one of the attacks happened at dawn, one at dusk.
2. Shark attacks almost always happen on lone snorkellers, swimmers, surfers and divers so sensible people go out in groups and don’t hang about on their own. Er, again, both attacks happened on lone diver / surfer.
3. Sharks are NOT interested in eating humans – most attacks are the result of them testing their prey (they take a bite and effectively go ‘yuck that’s not fish’ and then leave). Unfortunate if you happen to be on the receiving end of a test bite, but no need to demonise the poor things as monsters – if they wanted to kill and eat people, they would!!