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Shark Attack; The human factor

Shark Attack; The human factor

Postby rcastoro » 9/3/12

I worked at Mote Marine Laboratory in Longboat key, Florida for a short period, and I developed a bit of a soft spot for sharks. I noticed there had been a large increase in shark attacks and fatalities in the past decade and I wanted to do a short paper on this. You can read this paper titled "Shark Attack: The Human Factor" at my blog site Concerned Italian Kid, it will give you a brief glimpse into some of the statistics and a few trends related to recent shark attacks.


Historically, shark attacks have been an extremely rare occurrence. Statistically, you have a better chance of being mauled to death by a dog, than being fatally attacked by a shark (“International”). Running through the sand, feeling the sun crisp your face, and jumping into the water at your local beach for a quick dip with family is still a very safe activity. However, if your beach is the coast of Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh Resort and you were swimming between November 30, 2010, and December 5, 2010 the odds of being attacked and killed by a shark would frighten even the most seasoned statistics teachers. In the past century, shark attacks seem to be increasing, especially in the past few decades. While there are no concrete scientific experiments that prove humans are to blame for this disturbing rise in shark attacks, gross over fishing, increased human interaction, and climate change could be the causes of an increase in shark attacks. [..read more..]
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Re: Shark Attack; The human factor

Postby matthewrich » 11/1/12

There are some beaches where the ratio of sharks are too high, as of every years thousands of people died by shark attack. I would prefer that those beaches should be made more safer by coming up with new idea which will let people enjoy on the shallow beach.
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Re: Shark Attack; The human factor

Postby David » 11/1/12

Which beaches would those be exactly? I have never even heard of thousands of people dying by shark attack every year on this entire planet. The ocean is a wild environment and should be kept that way if it's to remain healthy and productive.
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Extending a sea ethic would mean recognizing the ocean’s importance to the continued existence of life on our planet and to human futures. From this recognition would flow an appropriate sense of moral imperative, commitment, and urgency—urgency toward ending overfishing and wasteful bycatch and aggressively rebuilding depleted ocean wildlife populations, stabilizing human effects on world climate, slowing habitat destruction, stemming global transport and accidental introduction of "alien" species, curbing the flow of contaminants and trash, developing sustainable seafood farming, cultivating an informed approach to the seafood marketplace, and implementing networks of protected areas in the sea. - Dr. Carl Safina

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Re: Shark Attack; The human factor

Postby Ghanima » 11/1/12

I think that number is pretty uninformed. It's more like 50 attacks in 20-30 years for some of the hotspots. Regarding this article, you can't really say that shark attacks may be on the rise because of overfishing and cite the evidence as rise in fishing and what local fisherman are saying. I also don't see anything convincing in here to point a finger at climate change. Which is not to say that neither of those may be a culprit. There's just a long road from "A is happening" to "Therefore, B". I would be interested to see some tracking studies to see if sharks are altering their routes in favor of places where they are more likely to encounter humans. However, I think it's likely a case of humans encroaching on sharks. A good example of this is Recife, Brazil, where there's been a lot of development of coastal areas that were shark nursery grounds. Lo and behold, there are now higher than normal numbers of shark attacks there.

As for protecting beachgoers from sharks, there are many beaches in South Africa that use nets to keep out the sharks. I don't know what the number of sharks is, or the statistics of attacks before and after the nets, or even how exactly they work. I was in Durban, SA during the sardine run and the net had been lifted or removed. The lifeguards let us in the water, but we could only go out about 20 feet from shore, in about 3 feet of water.
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