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Shark attacks on the rise? Another human taken today

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posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 01:00 AM
A 31-year-old surfer was killed today, most likely from a great white, in Gracetown W.A.; a notorious spot for noahs (sharks)... rest in peace. His name has not been released yet until family is notified.

But, it does seem at first glance shark attacks are on the rise...with the US leading last year with 28 attacks, Oz with 20, and South Africa with 6. There is in general a notion that shark attacks are increasing because many species are now protected, no longer hunted, and therefore increasing in numbers...but it could also be because more people are in the water, better global reporting, or less other foods in the water so sharks are more inquisitive when they see humans paddling in the surf.

As a surfer myself, I've seen a few sharks (mainly just reef sharks, not too big..and not too worriesome)...but I can think of few things more frightening than fending off a shark coming in on the attack.

Some more info about the rise in shark attacks:

Attacks in Australia were up, Shark Attack File statistics showed.

Australia had 20 attacks last year, compared with 12 in 2008 and 13 in 2007.

The same was true in South Africa, which had six attacks last year, compared with zero in 2008 and two in 2007.

There has been an overall increase in the number of shark attacks in the past two decades, although researchers attribute that to better reporting.

Poor guy...I hope this is not a trend that is going to increase as food shortages in the ocean deplete, and predators start looking closer to shore. Although most shark attacks are likely a case of mistaken identity (mistaking humans for seals), you have to wonder...or at least a little bit more concerned next time you go swimming, surfing, or diving etc.

[edit on 17-8-2010 by cloudbreak]

posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 01:32 AM
reply to post by cloudbreak

Hi there,

i do believe that it has not really to do with an increase of attacks, but rather with the many more reports that come in and in every corner of the world you hear about, which was not possible a few years back. As well as more and more people on our earth, in addition with hotter weather this year which might make one or the other additional guy go to the sea !

posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 02:28 AM
reply to post by Basel77

Yep, your points are valid – I think there is a combination of things, aside from just the reporting issue.

Another side to it became more prominent in Australia last year anyway, when there was three attacks within 48 hours, after a fatal shark attack there only a month before.

A Time article I just looked up is a good overview – it basically says there have been 193 people killed by sharks in Australia over the past 200 years (therefore little chance of a fatality overall). But as you say, more people are entering the water as populations increase. There could also be added pressure on overall availability of food in the ocean, though this point I'd consider secondary, as a reason, to the ones you mention.

However many professional fishermen have a different mindset:

“…some fishermen and others complain that Australia's efforts to protect sharks — catching rare white pointer sharks is illegal, for example — is resulting in an increase in attacks. In particular, they object to a policy of letting suspected man-eaters go. "Sharks do hang around after the attack, and the government has a duty of care to deal with it," says Queensland fisherman Vic Hislop. Sharks "learn to kill humans. They learn to go in hard and fast."

So overall, the reasons you concert with a few other reasons…could all be combining to in fact mean there is (and will continue to be) a rising number of shark attacks. No doubt global reporting is improving too (so yes, there is a better global overall understanding of number of attacks) – but, reports have always been filed domestically in Australia for example (and also in US and other developed countries), yet there is evidence pointing to a rising number of attacks irrespective of the better reporting if you take the past 20 years worth of data.

For example, one state in Australia (the most populous state, NSW) attacks quadrupled in the ten years to 2009 compared to the number of attacks in the 90s. Every attack in the 90s would've been reported, just that I think other reasons too are responsible for this apparent increasing pattern.

Very sad for the family and friends of the victim today. As for the shark, some people will be calling for it to be hunted down, others will be saying it is doing what comes naturally in its own habitat and should be left alone. Sad times.

posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 02:48 AM
Something else to keep in mind if you love the beach,sharks are more likely to attack when its overcast or early morning and the south of Western Australia was today when this guy got taken.

The Mrs and myelf were at the same time and location where a Father was taken in Rockingham WA a year or so ago in front of his son,that was also early morning.

We love the beach though now choose the safest times to swim.

posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 03:28 AM
reply to post by cloudbreak

I for one say leave the shark alive...

It's their domain not ours...

And I of course feel for the family as I feel for the families of all the mountain climbers that die every year trying to scale Mt Everest..

But it's their choice and they know the risks...

posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 05:31 AM
reply to post by gps777

Yeah early mornings around and just after dawn are not so good, also around dusk, and the overcast days too as you mention can be ominous. Some days can just feel ‘sharky’ – or more prone for shark-attack – due to the weather, the stillness of the ocean, the grey light, and a calmness that doesn’t feel right. Growing up (not sure actually now how true it is) but it was commonly said never to urinate in your wetsuit either, as the scent can hang around, slowly leak and attract sharks.

I recall that Rockingham attack – the guy literally just disappeared from memory? Taken under and never surfaced. Not good.

CYnicalm: I’m not sure where I stand really on that – you are right they are doing what comes naturally, in their domain, and it should be respected. Though if there is any truth that they may get a taste for blood, and ‘learn’ from an attack on a human – if the same shark was shown to move on and attack someone else in the region over the next few days, I think more would be keen to hunt it down. I wouldn’t like to see it killed though, in general, so…not sure.

posted on Aug, 17 2010 @ 11:51 AM
reply to post by CynicalM

Well, not that this seems to be a piece of earth-shattering news (though to those who enjoy the ocean it may be more important)...but so far it seems your view is of the majority. Of 4700 votes roughly on one of the main news sites in WA, 81% say the shark should not be hunted down and killed.

Turns out the guy was on his last day of leave, on a fly in fly out mine job

The Shire of Margaret River has closed the beach for 24 hours. Police and the Fisheries officers were doing sweeps of the water to try to locate the shark.

They could not confirm the species of shark or what would happen to it if it was found.

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