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Parso

Another Shark Attack in Sydney

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Just thought I'd let everyone know that we had another Shark attack in Sydney this morning. That's 3 in about 2 weeks now. Very unusual indeed. Last I heard the victim is in hospital in a stable condition. He was a 15 year old kid surfing with his dad. The attack happened at around 6:45am. The sharks are definitely not doing them selves any favors at the moment. The press has already gone shark crazy. Lets hope common sense prevails, and that the victim makes a speedy recovery.

 

By the way, I was lucky enough to photograph some 1 meter dusky whalers at Shelly Beach this morning.

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Parso

heard this morning also

but, all the attacks this year have been on people at the surface

even the Navy diver was at the surface

so the sharks are not "crazy mankillers", just hungry because we are removing all the food (fish etc) that they would normally have to eat

humans derive 90% of their protein from the sea

yet we are overfishing and there is more plastic in the ocean than plankton

so who are the real "crazy mankillers"?

why do we complain so hard about what we are doing to ourselves?

time to take some responsibiltiy and just warn people

I am sure people realize that if you walk where there are lions you could be attacked?!

just sick of all the hype.

I emailed coastal watch Australia (in january) and was told they were not planning to cull sharks as only 4 species are known to attack man

When I asked if the 4 species included bulls, tigers, great whites, makos, hammerheads, oceanic white tips and bronze whalers, I got no reply.

Sorry to ramble.

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just hungry because we are removing all the food (fish etc) that they would normally have to eat

 

 

I have heard of some human interaction (dumping food, being at surface and being mistaken by the sharks) but have not yet heard attacks related to being hungry due to reduction of food supply.

 

As you said the attacks were at the surface with two at 6:45 - 7:00AM for two of them and 7:30PM or so for one of them it looks like. Probably not quite dusk and dawn this time of the year in Australia, but close?

 

Anyway interesting report about likelihood of attack in Sydney Harbor for 200 Olympics and discusssion of why some species were not of concern:

 

Four species of dangerous sharks are responsible for the vast majority of shark attacks, and all four occur in the Sydney region. However, the Oceanic White Tip is an offshore species that never is expected to come close to the Harbour. The Great White Shark occurs close to the coast, but does not move far into estuaries. The Tiger Shark is not a frequent visitor of Australian estuaries, and is a mainly tropical species with very low numbers in Sydney in the winter months. The Bull Shark, one of the whalers, is often found in estuaries, sometimes far up into freshwaters. Sydney is the southern limit of this tropical species, and it is most unlikely to be here in cold water months. The Bull Shark is probably the species responsible for the attacks in the estuarine portions of Sydney Harbour, and its seasonal migration is why all Estuarine Harbour attacks are in warm water months.

 

Shark Attacks

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Therealdrew

there is a growing concern about how we are overfishing the oceans

so I am assuming that means there are less fish in the oceans

ergo, the sharks have less to eat out in the open water, and have to explore new territory to find a meal.

makes sense to me anyways.

cheers

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An interesting debate (not the one here, the one in the broader community) is going on. Lots of vested interested as always.

 

in 2006 commercial fishing in Sydney Harbour was banned due to pollution, and some are trying to link the increase in fish numbers to the increase in shark numbers.

 

The recent incidents are also coinciding with the NSW State Government's reduction in the commercial shark fishing quota. As you can imagine the media is finding every aggrieved fisher to comment on how numbers will increase if they can't fish for sharks.

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Whenever the topic of shark attacks come up I always say the same thing: if you don't make yourself prey, you won't become prey.

 

I'm assuming that as fairly informed divers that love all things ocean that we all know a nice little list of how to avoid being attacked by sharks. The simplest way of describe this is to simply not look like shark food in an area or time in which a shark might be feeding.

 

If someone runs around Kruger National Park at night with a bucket of antelope blood and gets attacked by lions, they don't say "need to kill more lions". They say, "that guy was a fool and got what he had coming".

 

Everything in life is calculated risk. Some people seem especially bad at determining this risk when it comes to the sea and even worse at accepting responsibility for their actions.

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Therealdrew

there is a growing concern about how we are overfishing the oceans

so I am assuming that means there are less fish in the oceans

ergo, the sharks have less to eat out in the open water, and have to explore new territory to find a meal.

makes sense to me anyways.

cheers

That doesn't make sense to me at all.

 

There are lots of reasons to be concerned about over-fishing ... "causing" shark attacks on humans is not one of them.

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If someone runs around Kruger National Park at night with a bucket of antelope blood and gets attacked by lions, they don't say "need to kill more lions". They say, "that guy was a fool and got what he had coming".

 

Fantastic! There is the key difference

 

There is some statistic out there about people being electrocuted by toasters being more than those attacked by sharks.

 

Sharks are apex predators, and similar to lions etc are not above trying to find an "easy" meal when possible, but when they figure out how defenseless we are in the water, and put us on their menu, we ain't going to go swimming no more!

 

Yet every time it happens we have a great media outpour.

 

Adam

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I find it hard to believe that shark attacks are on the increase in Australia or anywhere due to over-fishing of their prey. Sharks themselves have been subject to the same overfishing, often to an even greater proportional extent than other commercial fisheries. Anyway, if you look at the stats, these multi-attack events are usually just blips or variations caused by more people using a particular stretch of sea at a given time. In evolutionary terms, it would be a radical departure for a species that has spent millions of years eating fish to suddenly acquire a taste for human flesh. I just don't buy it.

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I'm thinking the increased number of incidents in Sydney actually have a lot to do with a number of suggestions that have been made above.

 

The water quality around Sydney has definitely improved. At the moment, with warm water temperatures around 23 to 24 degrees C, there is a lot of fish, both schooling and pelagic around, and as we know, if you have schooling fish, you usually have feeding sharks, (just look at the sardine run in Africa).

 

Maybe the 3 attacks are just coincidence. Who knows?

 

While any attack is bad, we must remind ourselves that there has not been a fatality.

 

My main concern is the irresponsible and ill informed response by the media. We had one bald headed idiot host of a morning news show suggest we start wiping out all sharks around Sydney. We certainly don't need that sort of knee jerk reaction.

 

I don't know what it is about a shark attack that gets the press in such a frenzy. Maybe it goes back to all the hype that surrounded the movie "JAWS" all those years ago.

 

We have had unfortunate children that have been killed by dogs, sometimes the family pet gone bad, and the press never go as crazy on that sort of incident. Have a shark attack, and all hell breaks loose.

 

Hopefully, one day we will have responsible journalists who will report the facts , and not sensationalize the incident to sell more papers or improve TV ratings, though I won't hold my breath (I think I just answered my own question).

 

Cheers

 

Parso

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humans derive 90% of their protein from the sea

 

While I understand and sympathize with the efforts to make sure shark's are not consumed for food or their fins for soup or persecuted because they mistake a surfer for a sea lion/seal the above seems wildly wrong.

In terms of concentrated protein sources (ignoring vegetable sources like corn/rice/beans the data seem to say that there is more pork consumed than all wild caught fish, and more beef than farmed fish/shrimp and poultry/eggs/sheep/lambs/goats together make up slightly more than the sum of wild caught and farmed seafood so ignoring plants (which might be 40% of all protein consumed by people) and just counting meat and fish, the fish/farmed fish are about 30%. So 30% of all non-plant protein so overall maybe 15 to 20% which is a long way from 90.

 

Bill

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Bill

 

humans derive 90% of their protein from the sea

It is what I read somewhere and the source was rather solid. Forget where. Sorry.

 

jeremypayne

 

I was not concerned about the shark attacks. Only the fact that we are overfishing and the result might be causing the attacks. Ergo we are causing the attacks.

Humans are great at not being responsible for their actions. And although over 200 people died recently in fires, the shark attacks seem to be eating up as much of the medias time.

If you ever flew over the beaches of South Africa and LA you would see you are not more than a kilometre from a big shark. Surprising there are not more attacks.

 

And the bald headed TV presenter. We should use him as bait to execute his idea! :P

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Might want to take a look here:

 

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Sharks/ISAF/ISAF.htm

 

Some interesting information. Can't speak to why three would be a grouping of attacks but on the whole it appears that the number of shark attack overall may be going up somewhat worldwide. If you look at the statistics section, you'll see that it appears to track pretty closely with the number of people at the beach. Makes sense -- more people near the sharks means more accidents happen. The other thing is that a shark attack is such an compelling story that the media tends to latch onto each one. Here in the U.S. "normal" killings of humans by other humans are commonplace enough that we tend not to even pay attention unless there is a "hook": it's in a school, it is a killing of more than a few people at once, etc. But a shark bites one person who is swimming in turbid water next to a pier where people are cleaning fish and it makes the top of the news. I'd be curious to know from the other Aussies here how this incident has been handled compared to, say, crocodile attacks. Are those given the same amount of coverage?

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the fact that we are overfishing

and the result might be causing the attacks. Ergo we are causing the attacks.

 

That's called the "fallacy of coincidence" ... essentially an issue with your sampling technique and the resulting statistical significance.

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Hey Mike

 

Crocodile attacks, like shark attacks usually, are few and far between. As a rule,they occur in what we call the "outback", which means North Queensland, The Northern Territory and maybe North Western Australia. The victims are usually tourists who are not familiar with the country side.

 

If a crocodile attack happens, the press will milk it for all it is worth, just like a shark attack.

 

As we have had 3 attacks in such a short amount of time, the response from all types of media has been unprecedented.

 

There have been reports that shark numbers are on the increase. Wouldn't that be a nice change from the norm.

 

The last I heard was that the State Government was reviewing its shark sighting systems (small plane flyovers).

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That's called the "fallacy of coincidence" ... essentially an issue with your sampling technique and the resulting statistical significance.

 

cheers

always good to know what an expert thinks, as opposed to someone who thinks they are an expert!

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always good to know what an expert thinks, as opposed to someone who thinks they are an expert!

I'm sorry you feel I've "attacked" you, but my comments were on-topic and not personal. I mention this because you said in a message to me off-line that:

 

"essentially its a problem with your eyes and your brain interpreting the information in front of you / stop being so keen to attack and be more constructive"

 

The fact remains ... I do take issue with your assertion - even qualified with a "maybe" - that over-fishing is causing sharks to hunt humans for food. There's just nothing to suggest that is the case ... and given the precarious place sharks hold in the imaginations of many humans, I think it is irresponsible even to suggest that sharks hunt humans when all the evidence suggest that's NOT the case.

 

You are free to hold such a belief, but I am equally free to refute a pulic assertion of that belief. That's not an attack - that's called a debate and is constructive.

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It's pretty clear that sharks do not 'eat' humans and do not consider us as food; anyone who has swum with sharks will appreciate this - if sharks wanted to eat us, they would be able to do this at will. But sharks do bite humans, and again it's pretty clear (having had a minor bite myself) that they bite humans almost exclusively by accident when they are intent on attacking something they believe to be food and which just happens to be a human. Any factor that increases the likelihood that sharks will mistake us as food could lead to an increasing number of shark bites.

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[i think it is irresponsible even to suggest that sharks hunt humans when all the evidence suggest that's NOT the case.

That's not an attack - that's called a debate and is constructive.

 

Jeremy

I did not mean sharks hunt humans

I meant that maybe sharks are finding it harder to obtain a meal out in the open water so are coming closer to shore

And in doing so are doing what they do. I stated at the start that all the attacks in oz so far this year where upon surface based swimmers/snorkelers/diver

Normally a test bite. Although tigers and bulls are more likely to finish off what they started. JAWS was apparently based on bull shark attacks (not great whites).

So I did not mean they are hunting us. Just exploring closer to shore (I wont call it "our" territory).

I finally see why you did not think it made sense.

Finally more of a debate. As when you debunk someones opinion, you have to back it up with some facts or opinions of your own. In this case you did that.

cheers

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