Miss Understood

The Misunderstood Shark
Wall Street Journal, Aug. 8, 2015

With Mary Lee now swimming off the coast of Georgia, the public’s fear of sharks has returned. In case you’ve forgotten, Mary Lee is the radio-tagged Great White Shark with 88,000 Twitter followers. We’ve learned a lot from tagging sharks. Great Whites are estimated to live 70 years or longer, and reproduce slowly. No one has observed females giving birth, but they are thought to have a gestation period longer than humans. Because great whites are responsible for more attacks than any other species of shark, they have been labeled as cold-blooded killers. In reality, great whites are warm blooded. And to put your risk of a shark attack in perspective, coastal residents are far more likely to be struck by lightning than be attacked by all species of sharks combined.

Every year we travel to the Outer Banks to windsurf and I’ve always been wary of sharks. The recent spate of shark attacks in North Carolina makes this fear seem perfectly rational. With eight victims in less than a month the risk seems overwhelming. What’s to blame for the surge in shark attacks? Biologists tell us the reason is more people in the water, not more sharks.

Our worst nightmare

A windsurfer’s worst nightmare

A trip to the Pacific in February gave me an opportunity to dive with sharks and face my fears. I went with researchers trying to stem the decline in coral reefs. Sharks are essential to healthy reefs. When sharks decline due to overfishing, so do the reefs. Fortunately for us, humans are not the preferred food for sharks. I felt a lot safer seeing big sharks underwater, where they could clearly see me, and I could see them. To a great white, a surfer paddling a board on the surface looks a lot like a tasty sea lion catching a breath of air. I felt a lot safer seeing big sharks underwater, where they could clearly see me, and I could see them.

Sharks hangin'
Sharks hanging out in deep water during the day. They swim through a channel in the nearby reef to hunt fish at night.

8 foot grey shark checking me out close-up
8 foot grey shark checking me out close-up

Candygram...
A dolphin? Well, ok...
Not a dolphin
Watch the entire skit: Land Shark: Jaws II
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Randy
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Joined: 05/05/2002 - 10:38
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Re: Miss Understood

I personally am much more worried about the threats posed by my fellow man, than sharks. I don't need a burglar alarm to keep sharks out of my house. I don't need airbags and car insurance to protect me from sharks crashing into my car. Sharks are not taking up parking spaces at the lake or river when I want to go on a weekend, or driving speedboats under the influence. Sharks aren't standing in line in front of me at QT when the lottery jackpot is large, nor do they send robocalls to my telephone or send me junk emails while phishing. Sharks don't hack into computers and sell my social security number to criminals, or get credit cards using my name. I can avoid the natural habitat of sharks quite easily - not so easy with my fellow man. Maybe that's because I'm such a people person.

What happens in a black hole stays in a black hole.

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Randy
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Joined: 05/05/2002 - 10:38
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Re: Miss Understood

I'm not the only worried about humans:

"I’m just feeling grateful that, for whatever reason, he didn’t kill me.”

https://medium.com/sportspickle/shark-just-grateful-to-be-uninjured-after-terrifying-encounter-with-surfer-aef90a8e5d6d

What happens in a black hole stays in a black hole.

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Jim_Crooks
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Re: Miss Understood

In one of the segments of Shark Week (the definitive reference for all things shark) this year, a (very tired) sea lion repair vet was asked (by a shark fan) about the increase in shark attacks. His answer was that there are more sharks due to protection of both the sharks and their prey from humans. Some divers are real excited about the increase in shark populations (Great Whites in particular):
https://www.divein.com/articles/great-white-sharks-making-comeback/

It is fun to contemplate the hazards of diving when preparing for a trip: reading or listening to
http://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Diving-Stories-Incredible-Beneath-ebook/dp/B00EQ8J1E8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439235035&sr=8-1&keywords=amazing+diving

will turn an ordinary dive into a thrill ride. But I think I'll stay away from the ocean side of the Outer Banks. It is hard to reconcile the idea that sharks don't care for the taste of humans with the fact that they are known to eat hubcaps.
The statistics currently show that being attacked by a shark is unlikely, but those statistics are based on data from the time when sharks were aggressively hunted. The statistics will no doubt change due to the increasing populations.
So I will limit my diving and windsurfing to "shark free" waters.

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webguy
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Re: Miss Understood

for Randy:

IMAGE(<a href="http://windsurfatlanta.org/sites/default/files/i-love-mankind.jpg" rel="nofollow">http://windsurfatlanta.org/sites/default/files/i-love-mankind.jpg</a>)

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nitro
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Re: Miss Understood

Hey to burst your bubble Jim_Crooks, but there are great whites in Pamlico Sound too!

Great White Tracked in Pamlico Sound

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webguy
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Re: Miss Understood

Hey! Nice to see you around

...even though you've scared Jim from ever going back to Nags Head.

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Jim_Crooks
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Re: Miss Understood

No, Nags Head is perfectly safe. Just pull up Ocearch and search for "All Sharks,All Activity,All Genders (do sharks have more that 2?) All Stages of Life,All Locations". There were only 2 pings from Pamlico Sound, and none from Albermarle Sound, Curritcuck Sound, Alligator River or North River. Basically, north of 64 is in the clear. Also, there are no pings anywhere near Aruba or Bonaire. Also, "Katherine's Highway" is a mile or so out, well away from the fin deep area near Avon.

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Re: Miss Understood
Quote:
No, Nags Head is perfectly safe.

That's what they want you to think.

IMAGE(<a href="http://windsurfatlanta.org/sites/default/files/pictures/shark-stealth.jpg" rel="nofollow">http://windsurfatlanta.org/sites/default/files/pictures/shark-stealth.jpg</a>)

--- The Arrogant Jerk: Crabby and irritable since 1998.

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