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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Death by shark is at an all time high in Australia. Whats happening?

    The shark attacked Sunday, when Charles Cernobori, 59 and a father of three, was bodysurfing off Cable Beach in Western Australia. A couple found him, dragged him to the beach and called emergency services.


    By the time they arrived, it was too late to save Mr Cernobori.


    His death was the eighth linked to a shark in Australia this year, the most in nearly a century. The record for shark attacks in a single year was in 1929, which saw nine. In recent decades, the annual average has been one.


    What’s behind the increase in deaths?


    The question is vexing many in Australia, where public pressure is rising for authorities to take tougher measures to protect the country’s picturesque coasts this summer as people emerge from coronavirus lockdowns and eagerly head to the beach.

    Scientists find the high numbers shocking, and they wonder what forces may be at play.

    Death by shark is at an all time high in Australia. What’s happening?


    “There’s more than one shark expert who’s shaking their head right now, thinking, ‘What on earth is going on?’ ” said Culum Brown, a professor of marine biology at Macquarie University in Sydney who studies shark behavior.


    “Eight is certainly off the scale, and we haven’t even finished the year yet,” he added.


    ‘It’s probably just really bad luck’ …


    The losses this year have been harrowing: Among the victims are an experienced scuba diver and a teenage surfer. A search for another man was called off after days of looking for his body. Others have survived, albeit traumatized and seriously injured by the apex predators, whose territory Australians enter when they swim in the ocean.


    But while the killer sharks have spooked beachgoers, scientists say that the chance of being mauled by them is still incredibly low. You are more likely to die from a lightning strike or a train crash, or by freezing, than from a shark attack. And the attacks in a single year do not provide enough data points to draw conclusions about what is causing the attacks, experts say.


    “There’s so many confounding variables,” said Phoebe Meagher, who manages the Australian Shark Attack File, a database of interactions between humans and sharks, including those that result in fatalities.


    Ms Meagher said that although the number of people who have died in shark attacks this year is higher, the number of total unprovoked encounters, 20, was right on average.


    “There may be nothing crazy at play here,” she said. “The fact that incidents result in fatalities — it’s probably just really bad luck.”


    … Or climate change


    Mr Brown also said that climate change, which causes the ocean to warm, could be driving sharks into cooler territory at the same that more people are flocking to the beach on hot days.

    Australians have also been permitted to visit the beach even under strict coronavirus restrictions in some states, which may have contributed to larger numbers of crowds and surfers.


    But this would not explain why the overall number of interactions between sharks and people has remained the same.

    Other scientists have suggested that shifting ocean temperatures — the result of La Niña weather patterns — could be moving the sharks’ hunting grounds, leading them toward more populated beaches.


    Following and feeding on humpback whales


    Another theory is that the sharks could be following humpback whales — whose populations have boomed in recent years — on their yearly migration north from Antarctica and opportunistically feasting on those that die along the way.


    “Sharks are simply moving to where their prey is going to be,” said Vanessa Pirotta, who also researches marine predators at Macquarie University. But, Ms Pirotta added, more whales do not necessarily equal more sharks.


    Though the jump in deaths is attention-grabbing, the chances of being mauled and killed by a shark are still extremely slim, experts say. Last year, 11 people were involved in what the International Shark Attack File defines as “unprovoked attacks” in Australia. None of those were fatal. The most, 41, occurred in the United States, but nobody died there, either.


    Sharks do not actively hunt humans but may attack when they feel threatened or confuse people for prey. Drone footage, scientists say, has shown that sharks will often swim in the same water as surfers and bathers without attacking them. Scientists are exploring solutions that include attaching LED lights to the bottoms of surfboard to prevent sharks from confusing surfers with seals.


    ‘Political hot potato’


    Still, the issue has become a “political hot potato,” Brown said, with state governments rushing to invest money in beach-protection measures including setting traps for the animals, using drones to track them and enclosing beaches in shark nets — despite the fact that the meshing programs have been shown to have little success.


    The deaths have also reignited debate around culling the creatures, which animals rights activists say is inhumane. Nets placed around the beaches to protect swimmers have also resulted in the accidental deaths of thousands of other marine creatures including turtles, stingrays and aquatic mammals called dugong.


    Even some of those who have been attacked by sharks oppose culling or shooting them. The police fired about 25 bullets at the shark that killed Mr Cernobori.


    “I’ve always been against the culling of them,” said Phil Mummert, 28, who survived an attack off Western Australia in July. Mr Mummert was surfing at Bunker Bay, south of Perth, when a shark bit his board in two and punctured his upper thigh, just an inch from his femoral artery.


    He said he was glad that, in the end, the authorities had not succeeded in locating the shark that had attacked him. “There’s just no way to know that’s the one,” he said.


    Nonetheless, he said, the high number of deaths this year had been a constant and painful reminder of his experience.


    “It really drives it home for me just how lucky I was to come out of that alive,” he said.

    Death by shark is at an all time high in Australia. What’s happening? | The Independent

  2. #2
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    Buckaroo Banzai's Avatar
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    I know very little about the subject, but that never stopped me from having a strong opinion before.
    So here it goes.
    I think it's the fault of the Australian and not the sharks. The sharks are doing what nature design them to do. It is not the sharks fault that Australians are so plum and tasty! I suspect from eating all them shrimps on the Barbie
    Here is the US ,... Zero fatalities from sharks!!! why you ask? Because we are plum but not tasty, one bite and phtew , back in the drink we go, !
    Oh.. and they dress provocatively .
    The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

  3. #3
    ความรู้ลึกลับ HuangLao's Avatar
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    An extension of nature's revenge....

    Stay tuned - there's more on the way.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Whats happening?
    ...heedless white folks insist of going where sharks live and hunt...they know the dangers and ignore them: chomp...

  5. #5
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    heedless white folks
    do sharks not eat fuzzy wuzzies?

  6. #6
    Praise Jesus
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    fuzzy wuzzies
    Are more intelligent than:

    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    white folks
    that

    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    insist on going where sharks live and hunt

    Aussie Aussie Aussie. Chomp Chomp Chomp.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
    Troy's Avatar
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    Where's Darwin again?

  8. #8
    Praise Jesus
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    Westminster Abbey.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    I'm surprised the chinkies aren't crowing over their efforts to wipe out the world's shark population on behalf of convict swimmers.

  10. #10
    Custom Title Changer
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    The sharks can sense that people are both more tender and a touch fatter due to covid lockdowns. Doesn't take a scientist to figure this stuff out.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    ...heedless white folks insist of going where sharks live and hunt...they know the dangers and ignore them: chomp...
    I swam with sharks about 100 metres off the beach on Phi Phi. Either we didn't smell so great that day or they were more wary of us than we were of them, but they were off like a shot when they saw us.

    If you cross the road, there are gonna be occasional accidents. Same same for most things in life.

    Llike the article itself says, the chances of a mauling are still extremely slim.

  12. #12
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckaroo Banzai View Post
    I know very little about the subject, but that never stopped me from having a strong opinion before.
    right you are

    it is because of this desire for 2 seconds of video in front of the eyeballs of the ADHD majority - now the average australian bloke will report to the media when he gets bitten by a flirty fish for the chance to meet a television news shelia and hit her up for a root

    prior to this he was unlikely to waste time reporting the encounter as it would impinge on his beer drinking

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat TheRealKW's Avatar
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    Click bait headline and sensationalist reporting

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat reinvented's Avatar
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    i love these "youve more chance of dying from..." quotes

    lightning doesnt have rows of teeth and leave you with 1 arm slowly bleeding to death in great pain

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by hallelujah View Post
    I swam with sharks about 100 metres off the beach on Phi Phi. Either we didn't smell so great that day or they were more wary of us than we were of them, but they were off like a shot when they saw us.
    Yeah but I'd bet they weren't 3+ meter Great Whites!

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Headworx View Post
    Yeah but I'd bet they weren't 3+ meter Great Whites!
    Indeed.

    Being a bit of a shark geek, and knowing the stats, that's the point I´m trying to make. Most sharks are totally harmless and every time we have a dip in the water, we're mostly havig a dip without any worry at all.

    Mostly anyway

  17. #17
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    ^Couldn't agree more, and where the water looks nice people will go swimming. This is on the Gold Coast (Australia) and you couldn't count how many people go swimming or surfing there each year, a person was mauled by a GW and died there a couple of klm South of the pic recently in the first shark fatality in the area for something like 70 years. I always thought the water would be too warm (same as Thailand) for GW's but obviously, they're adapting. Next problem is they're catching Barramundi fish locally now and the water was thought to be too cold for them, but they're working their way South and adapting. Where there's Barra there's usually Crocodiles too so it looks like a toss-up is coming in the future of what bites you in half in Australia's premier holiday spot, a Croc or a Shark!

    Death by shark is at an all time high in Australia. Whats happening?-20201127_085318-jpg

  18. #18
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Headworx View Post
    a Croc or a Shark!
    I imagine either would make you foreigners shart in your crocs

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat
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    ^And what, locals will just strap a Bowie knife to their calves then happily still go into water known to host Great Whites and Salties?

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Headworx View Post
    locals will just strap a Bowie knife to their calves then happily still go into water known to host Great Whites and Salties?
    ...No. Heedlessly, they will imagine that such monstrous creatures will go after someone else and continue to dangle their legs off surf boards...little sympathy for such determinedly stupid folks...
    Last edited by tomcat; 27-11-2020 at 04:01 PM.

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    His death was the eighth linked to a shark in Australia this year
    Not that many. It is a proven fact that many more sharks are eaten by man than the reverse.

  22. #22
    Your local I.Q. Monitor
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    The high er number of shark attacks are a result of the increased salt levels around coastal Australia. Sharks have discovered all an Australian needed was a little extra salt.

  23. #23
    Thailand Expat Latindancer's Avatar
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    The simplest, most direct explanation is that medium sized fish that sharks usually feed on are being fished out by both local professional fishermen and offshore Chinese fishermen. Worldwide fish stocks are crashing.

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