re-sized shark warning

Shark attack – blown out of all proportion

This video which comes from Apexpredator11 and was posted in December 2006, sometime ago now, but it made us think of what the statistics are for shark attacks on surfers. Here we should add the word ‘reported’ and this is what we found.

From the Times on line ‘ last year the only fatal attack was in New Caledonia, in the southwest Pacific, according to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s international shark attack file.

There were 71 other reported attacks worldwide last year, up from 63 in 2006. Attacks on the Atlantic coast, particularly in Florida, are far more common than they are on the Pacific coast.

A study by the Harvard Centre for Risk Analysis showed that a person’s chances of being killed by a shark in any given year are about 1 in 280 million, compared with a 1 in 6,700 chance of being killed in a car accident.

This means you would have to swim in the ocean 112 times a day for it to become as dangerous as making a single car journey to the supermarket. ‘

As you are no doubt aware there are only four species of shark that are considered to be dangerous: the Great White shark, the Oceanic Whitetip shark, the Bull shark and the Tiger shark. Further research will quickly reveal that the Great White – the most feared of all the sharks, will ‘not deliberately hunt humans for food’.

While sharks kill fewer than 20 people a year, their own numbers suffer greatly at human hands. Between 20 and 100 million sharks die each year due to fishing activity, according to data from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s International Shark Attack File.

So shark attacks are rare and no doubt often caused by foolish behaviour from an individual – take for example the Meditterranean where Europe holidays and yes, the Great White has been seen in the Med – some even suggest it is their breeding ground – since 1899 MEDSAF reports (the Mediterranean Shark Attack File) that only some 60 attacks have been reported – no doubt in this respect it is a good thing that the Med does not have any surf!

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