Thankful that both surfers are safe. @mfanno @julian_wilson #JBayOpen
Incidents like this raise a lot of questions. Are numbers of attacks increasing?
What triggers aggressive behaviour of the sharks?
There are thousands of theories, many approaches, but nothing seems to be a satisfactory solution.
We get worried when thinking of Reunion Island, recent repeated incidents in Northern New South Wales or Western Australia.
Should we believe the statistics? Is the apparent increase in incidents due to better reporting and more people in the water?
One thing for certain should be investigated with more attention and that is our own impact on a scary imbalance in the ocean environment, which seems to force the sharks to change their behavioural patterns. We all agree, humans are not the favourite meal of the ancient predator.
(What would have they been eating the 337 M years before us?)
Overfishing could be one of the reasons why the sharks explore new hunting grounds. This is on the other hand related to man made marine reserves, where suddenly the fish population is higher than it used to be.
“To start with, we are diminishing bio-diversity in the ocean. Overfishing has removed 90% of large, predatory fish – critical to oceanic ecosystems – from the sea since 1950. Every single commercial fishery is in a state of decline. This is not just bad news for humans who eat fish, but it is very bad news for sharks, orcas, whales, seals and dolphins who have no choice but to eat fish. In other words, starvation is a very big motivation for opportunistic attacks.” Captain Paul Watson
National Geographic and Christopher Neff also suggest:
“Shiny objects can also attract sharks, who are naturally curious.” Thinking of Mick’s board in neon yellow.
For the curious, here is the Shark Attack Incident Log. Make your own maths.