The last few weeks have been pretty tough for the shark species. In recent weeks, we have had 2 fatalities, and the death of a huge supporter of shark conservation. Now, one may ask, how can shark attacks be hard on sharks? I mean, it’s not like they were the ones who died. But trust me, the reaction of the human race is going to be much harder on the sharks than 2 deaths will be.
Now, if you are going to act in a way that attracts sharks, you should not be surprised when you are attacked. If you look like dinner to a shark, it’s going to check to see if you are dinner. Now, sharks have no hands, arms, or any other way to check if you are food or not, except to a quick bite, a small nibble. And guess what, the guy in Hawaii was bitten on his foot. The shark was probably curious, and sadly a man died from that curiosity.
I am not trying to down play the situation, the man died and that is regrettable, but the man was fishing from a kayak in shark infested waters, with his feet dangling in the water. So, not only do you have bait bloodying water, you have the fish being caught and, I would presume, struggling. Well, this is a dinner bell to a shark. Dangling one’s feet in the water is just stupid.
Now, here is how Hawaii might react. They may react the same way Western Australia wants to react. By killing as many sharks as possible. First, there is no evidence that sharks become man-eaters once they attack one person, but that is the belief, thank you “Jaws.” There is also no evidence that culling the shark population actually reduces shark attacks. In theory, yes, there would be fewer sharks, and therefore fewer attacks. But in practice, it is not likely to work. Finally, there is no way to know you killed the correct shark.
Hopefully, Hawaii will react with more thought. More education and better practices would be a better way to handle the situation. Teach the people how to not appear as food to the shark. Teach people what to do and, more importantly, what not to do when in shark infested waters. So many things are more lethal to humans, like vending machines, that we should not have to worry about sharks. We are in their territory, and last I heard, sharks do not walk on land to get us.
The loss of Paul Walker is also a blow to the shark community. This actor, who majored in marine biology, was a huge supporter of shark conservation. He was even scheduled to dive in Guadeloupe this year, and it wouldn’t have been his first. Paul Walker will be missed.