If you swim in sharks’ sea, you’re more likely to drown than be eaten

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Don’t assume I don’t take into consideration sharks each time I enter the ocean. Like all surfer or ocean swimmer, I take the chance after I enter the shark’s area – about 70 per cent of shark fatalities are  surfers or divers, the summit was informed.

Teacher Sam Edwardes recovering in hospital after he was attacked by a shark at Byron Bay last Sunday. 

Instructor Sam Edwardes recovering in hospital after he was attacked by a shark at Byron Bay final Sunday. Credit score:9

To be sincere, the considered shark nets at my native seaside is a consolation, although their efficacy was a subject of debate on the summit. I do know now there are options.

There are non-lethal shark-deterrent applied sciences, such Ocean Guardian’s electromagnetic Shark Protect, from Western Australia, which was examined way back by these underwater warriors Jack and Valerie Taylor. There are drones utilized in shark patrols and apps such because the NSW authorities’s SharkSmart (98,000 downloads). Drone Sharks is one other shark-spotting app and it is my new Instagram dependancy.

As I listened, I requested myself: Is there any media star extra maligned than the shark within the wake of an assault?

The summit had a session, “Sharks and the media – what’s the actual story”, hosted by ABC broadcaster Wendy Harmer. It was in elements hilarious, attributing the sharks’ unhealthy press to the ebook Jaws, by Peter Benchley, and the music from the movie of the identical title by Stephen Spielberg, which performs like an earworm when most of us swim someplace “sharkie”.

Tim Winton ... a surfer advocating for sharks.

Tim Winton … a surfer advocating for sharks. Credit score:Louise Kennerley

However listed here are the info from the scientists and shark consultants assembled in Sydney. There are much more drownings at Australian seashores than there are shark deaths. And bees kill many extra Australians than do sharks. There isn’t any warfare on bees, stated creator/surfer Tim Winton.

“Why did God make sharks?” Winton’s kids used to ask him. Now, in his function as patron of the Australian Marine Conservation Society, he’s all the time tempted to reply: “To promote newspapers.”

“Flip via a Sunday newspaper this summer season. With regards to sharks, worry equals cash. The extra lurid the headlines and pics the higher. Readers can’t assist themselves. A bonafide unhealthy man.”

(Observe that you simply’re studying a much less lurid account on this explicit Sunday newspaper.)

Winton once more: “Australians have a peculiar angle in the direction of sharks. It’s pathological and it runs deep. Different cultures have their wolves and bears, their lions and tigers – the carnivorous demon lurking within the shadows. Right here in Australia there’s no rising menace on the market at midnight. Our demon is silent and it swims.”

They swim in our oceans. If we select to affix them, that’s the chance we take.

Helen Pitt is a journalist on the The Sydney Morning Herald.

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