Shark attack misconceptions

Shark attack misconceptions

Sharks have always been deemed the most dangerous predator of the waters, but Austin Gallagher insists that it is probably not the shark that will cause any harm to you. Austin, a graduate who has been studying sharks, insists that a person is more prone to get hurt while driving to the beach than get involved in a shark attack accident.

 

However, it is evident that people start fearing such incidents whenever there is a shark attack on swimmers in the coastline. Gallagher, who is the chief executive officer of a non-profit organisation called Beneath the Waves, works towards the conservation of sharks.

 

He thinks that it is highly possible that a human will kill a shark rather than a shark killing a human. According to statistics, fishermen kill over 100 million sharks every year.  There have been around 30 attacks in the last few years which were instigated when fishermen tried to hunt sharks. As Debora Almeida of Northeastern University reports, among the 88 unprovoked attacks that occurred in the last few years, 5 of them caused deaths.

 

Gallagher states the reason for low death rates as when a great white shark attacks a human, it mistakes the human for a seal. When it realizes that it is not hunting a seal, sensing it on the strong nerve ending of its teeth, it immediately lets go off the grip.

He remarks that, “Shark bites on humans are extremely rare events. They are often the case of mistaken identity. Humans just aren’t on the menu for sharks anywhere in the world.”

 

He suggests that it is always preferable for swimmers to be on the lookout and remain close to the shore. Being alert is one of the best ways to especially flee a shark attack. A swimmer should immediately escape the water if he spots a shark swimming rapidly around him. But at the same time it is his duty to respect the underwater world and not provoke any attacks on himself.

 

Subarna Basu

Subarna Basu
Subarna Basu

pami.tuli@gmail.com

A final year English Honors student, waiting for Godot.

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