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How many fatal shark attacks to stop you diving

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba' started by Foxfish, Feb 18, 2014.

How many fatal attacks in an area to deter you from diving

Poll closed Mar 20, 2014.
  1. 1 per year

    2 vote(s)
  2. 2 per year

    12 vote(s)
  3. 6 per year. One every second month.

    13 vote(s)
  4. 12 per year. One every month.

    10 vote(s)
  5. 1 every week

    25 vote(s)
  6. I don't care and believe that shark finning or culling is morally wrong.

    89 vote(s)
  7. I find this poll disturbing and hopelessly flawed.

    61 vote(s)
  1. tech_diver

    tech_diver Contributor

    I actually had a small shark come at me while surfing in the Gulf of Mexico once. He snapped at my hands then grabbed my leash and decided he wanted to take me home to mama offshore, I was being pulled backward at probably a knot and a half when he finally let go. As much as it freaked me out, it never occurred to me to take any action against sharks or to stop surfing.

    I tried to avoid posting to this thread but two questions keep coming to mind:

    Hasn't there been a dramatic rise in the number of people in the ocean over the decades thus increasing all types of marine animal interactions?

    Don't jellyfish kill way more people than sharks? We don't see politicians launching any jellyfish programs, do we?

    Just asking...
  2. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    ... so tell me again, what's the definition of insanity?

    You can't argue with an idiot ... they just drag you down to their level and beat you with their experience.

    I think the only reasonable response to the shark culling ... the only one that is likely to have any chance at reaching those who made the decision ... is to publicly state that you will never spend money in a place that would do something like that. Ultimately, it always boils down to money ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)

    ---------- Post added March 5th, 2014 at 11:21 AM ----------

    ... maybe Foxfish is worried about the wrong animal ...

    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
  3. boulderjohn

    boulderjohn Technical Instructor ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boulder, CO
    Wow! Not only do kangaroos kill more people than sharks in Australia, their meat is downright delicious! I am told that shark fins provide nothing but status to a bowl of soup, but a kangaroo filet is the best meat I have ever eaten.

    Foxfish--a new cause for you!
    scubastingray likes this.
  4. bowlofpetunias

    bowlofpetunias Oh no, not again! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    We are the only country where you can legally eat (and enjoy) all the animals on the national coat of arms! I hope when you refer to the tourism to the Island you are not talking about the whole Australian Continent... not all Australians states do shark culling:fear:
    drbill and JohnN like this.
  5. BCSGratefulDiver

    BCSGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: On the Fun Side of Trump's Wall
    Gotta be careful with the kangaroos ... they might shoot back ...


    ... maybe what the sharks need are frikkin laser beams ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
    Mike.D likes this.
  6. JohnN

    JohnN ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Oar--eee---gun

    Love it. Maybe you should add the cane toad on the national coat of arms as a reminder what happens when you muck with the environment.
  7. bowlofpetunias

    bowlofpetunias Oh no, not again! ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Sydney Australia
    Hmm Seems to me I read somewhere the poisonous Cane Toad secretions are used as hallucinogenics. :hm: I wonder if a few people have been licking Cane Toads and creating other effects.. :doh: paranoia?:fear: Cane toads ARE seen as having a terrible impact on the Australian ecosystems.... now they are effecting the marine ones creating all this fear:shakehead: and who do we have to blame for that I ask you.........
  8. CT-Rich

    CT-Rich ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    Holy crap, almost FIVE HUNDRED POSTS!!! I can't believe that this troll has kept you guys on the hook for so long. It must make his wee-wee feel so good that you are still wasting brain cells talking with him... He was the Troll of the month for February. Look here is his centerfold:

    So glad I gave up on this way back in the 290's....
  9. Slater

    Slater Contributor

    Beach Waters Closed After Man Dies In Shark Attack - Story

    Martin, a retired veterinarian, was the first shark fatality in San Diego County since 1994.
    Authorities immediately closed eight miles of popular beaches for 72 hours, heading into a warm weekend. Red emergency helicopters flew over the blue swells trying to track the shark, though experts said the chances of finding it were slim.
    "The shark is still in the area. We're sure of that," said Joe Kellejian, mayor of Solana Beach, a quiet suburb of 13,000 people, million-dollar homes and a median annual household income above $100,000.
    Martin's family members visited the lifeguard station in small groups, emerging in tears, before his body was transported to the county medical examiner's office. A man who identified himself as Martin's son answered the telephone at Martin's home a few blocks from the beach but declined to comment on the attack.
    A shark expert who examined Martin's body said sharks mistake humans for seals or sea lions. They attack with a single disabling charge and then retreat while their target bleeds to death.
    "It's just very bad luck for that one man," said Richard Rosenblatt, a professor emeritus of marine biology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego.
    Rosenblatt said he believed the bite pattern on Martin's legs indicated the shark was almost certainly a great white that may have been 12 feet to 17 feet long. Female sharks sometimes come to Southern California waters to pup, he said.
    The attack was unusual because it took place over a sandy bottom, Rosenblatt said. Sharks typically attack over rocks, which provide better camouflage.
    Surfers were astonished.
    Scott Bass of Encinitas, an editor at Surfer Magazine, was paddling when the attack happened but didn't see it. Helicopters flew overhead, announcing, "There's been a fatal shark attack. Go in immediately."
    "It was totally surreal," said Bass.
    Shark warnings were posted as far north as Carlsbad and as far south as San Diego.
    Friends and acquaintances wandered down to the beach as word of the death spread. Martin, a Solana Beach resident since 1970, was well-known to neighbors.
    He trained with much younger athletes. The club's median age is 36, ranging from 7 to 83, according to its Web site.
    The club boasts 1,700 members and welcomes all comers. Bike rides are Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Sunday is for running. Monday and Friday are for ocean swims.
    "He was down here all the time," said fellow triathlete Hill. He said club members had been swimming there for at least six years and had never seen a shark.
    Hill said Martin was mangled when he was brought in to shore. "The flesh was just hanging," he said.
    Rosenblatt called the bite "really quite clean and massive."
    Ira Opper of Solana Beach saw Martin's body arrive at the lifeguard station. His "burly and athletic" frame had a black wetsuit that was shredded on both legs beneath blood-soaked gauze bandages.
    Paramedics worked on Martin for at least 20 minutes before he was declared dead, Opper said.
    Surfers reported seeing a stranded seal pup on the beach Friday before the attack. Lifeguard Craig Miller said he did not know whether there had been pods of seals or sea lions in the kelp beds nearby.
    Sharks feed on seals and sea lions, making areas where those animals live more vulnerable to attacks.
    The last fatal shark attack along California took place on Aug. 15, 2004, in Mendocino County at Kibesillah Rock, according to the state Department of Fish and Game. The victim was a man diving for abalone with a friend.
    On Aug. 19, 2003, a woman swimmer was killed by a great white at Avila Beach in San Luis Obispo County on the central California coast.
    The last fatal shark attack along San Diego County was in April 1994. However, some experts question the cause of death of 25-year-old Michelle Von Emster. Many believe Von Emster might have died or drowned in the water and sharks, or other fish, fed on her body, according to Rosenblatt.
    Overall, shark attacks are extremely rare. There were 71 reported worldwide last year, up from 63 in 2006. Only one attack, in the South Pacific, was fatal, according to the University of Florida.
    The university's International Shark Attack File has counted an average of 4.1 people killed by sharks annually worldwide in the last seven years.
    Sharks are highly migratory, making it unlikely that Friday's attacker poses additional risk to swimmers, said George Burgess, a biologist at the university. Still, other sharks may lurk.
    "It's not any more dangerous than it was yesterday or the week before," Burgess said. "The reality is when you enter the sea it's a wilderness experience. There are animals out there that can and do occasionally do harm to us." Sharks feed on seals and sea lions, making areas where those animals live more vulnerable to attacks, Burgess said.
  10. Foxfish

    Foxfish Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Perth, Australia
    Here is a definition for the word 'eat' I found on the internet:

    I consider much of this a very good description of what happens when a shark attacks a person, especially if the attack is fatal.

    Your argument may have some credence if you could demonstrate that sharks taking big bites out of people resulting in death always spit the pieces out.

    You previously said the following:

    'Agenda' as in the Greeny agenda you seem intent on pushing. You mentioned at the start of the thread you were not aware of any fatal attacks by white pointers in your area of California. In fact there have been many. Apparently you are a marine biologist, an experienced diver and have seem a few sharks while diving. That doesn't automatically make you an expert in assessing the risk to humans of a fatal shark attack. At least no more than living with bears made Timothy Treadwell an expert on assessing the risk to humans of a fatal bear attack.

    This thread is not about how many sharks you've seen. Neither is it about what you consider to be the current risk of a fatal shark attack in the area you dive. Those are just red herrings and strawman arguments. The OP asks you to assess how many fatal shark attacks on people in the area you dive would need to occur before you would be deterred from diving.

    It is clear after fifty pages of thread that most if not all are unable or unwilling to think in these terms. And yet many of these same people have no hesitation quoting meaningless statistics on the risk of a car accident or the risk of being killed by a falling coconut and comparing that to the risk of a fatal shark attack. The approach I've suggested is more intuitive, meaningful and accurate. So for example in a previous post I asked:

    While not identical to the OP it does again demonstrate in principal the approach to risk assessment adopted in the poll. I'd agree that the overwhelming response is that divers resent being forced to think of the risk in these terms.

    Some have evidently concluded that the relatively low percent of fatal attacks on divers wearing scuba gear provides an invincibility shield so they they don't need to worry. I've previously pointed out reasons why that is not a sensible extrapolation in high risk areas.

    There are a number of myths that have grown up around fatal shark attacks on people. They are popular with Greenies bent on watering down the impact of such attacks being reported publicly in the media.

    One is that sharks don't like eating humans. That the initial bite of an attack on humans is exploratory. Another is that sharks mistake people swimming on the surface for seals. Some argue that sharks mistake the silhouette of a surfer on a board for a seal. These theories reported by the 'experts' in Western Australia media were popular in the early days after the white pointer was protected and the number of fatal shark attacks began to climb. I've noticed they've lost popularity in recent years after numerous shark attacks which plainly debunk the theories.

    And yet they continue to be popular in other parts of the world. That is not surprising given the blatant pro shark bias of western media. Also, the gory details of the attacks tend to be suppressed out of respect for family members. The truth is a lot harder to suppress and disguise around locals closer to the epicentre of the attacks and in contact with people who witnessed the attacks.

    In several recent attacks in our region no remains were found of the victim's body. In one case a witness saw the victim attacked and then completely vanish. Extensive sea searches failed to locate any part of the victims body. In some cases shredded fragments of clothing or equipment confirmed to be the result of shark attack were the only remains recovered. In some cases body parts were recovered a few days after the attack washed up on the beach. In these cases the best explanation is that shark(s) ate most if not all of the victim. In other cases witnesses saw sharks repeatedly attacking the victim inflicting massive injuries after each attack.

    The evidence that has surfaced from the attacks mentioned above clearly show that the sharks do eat people and did not mistake them for other forms of prey. Until the recent fatal attacks on divers in our area many divers were in denial about the risks posed by man-eating sharks in spite of the attacks on other water users, not unlike the kind of denial seen on this thread. But the carefully nurtured notions of invincibility over many years were shattered within a few months.

    You can get away with promoting these mythical ideas about shark attacks in areas where the risks are relatively low. Diving in a green house environment, fantasy can flourish unchecked by the grizzly realities of attacks. It becomes a much greater concern in areas where the risk is high. In that case these myths and fantasies distort the perception of divers, other water users and governments regarding the risk and anesthetizes attempts to mitigate the risk.

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