What kills fewer people than sharks each year?


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Every time a deadly shark attack occurs, people start pointing out what kills more people than sharks each year. This led me to think of a different question. What kills fewer people than sharks each year? Do you know anything that kills people, but fewer than 6 people worldwide? There might be something, but I haven't found it yet. So keep that question in mind, when you read the following.


A record number of global shark attacks is making the news these days. As expected, the headlines proclaiming this fact vary, along with the tone of the article accompanying them.

Discovery.com has a headline that says: "Record number of shark attacks in 2015" and their article goes on to mention all the places those attacks have happened and how those numbers increased.

Shark attacks hit an all time high last year, with the United States leading all nations in numbers of such attacks, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File.

Climate change, recovering shark populations and more people in the water help to explain the high number of recorded shark attacks for 2015: 98, including six fatalities. All of the attacks were unprovoked.





Discovery stresses the fact that all of those attacks were unprovoked and is careful to point out that we can expect an increase in those numbers. They stress the fact that the number of fatal attacks doubled in 2015 versus 2014.

"Sharks plus humans equals attacks," George Burgess, curator of the file, which houses the globe's clearinghouse of shark attack data, said in a press release. "As our population continues to rapidly grow and shark populations slowly recover, we’re going to see more interactions."
 
2015 broke the prior record, which was set in 2000. That year, there were 88 attacks. 2015 further saw double the number of deaths from shark attacks versus 2014.

Bull Sharks swimming along divers in Fiji
Yes, the number of fatalities doubled versus 2014, but what they fail to mention is that the 2014 number was unusually low and only about half the annual average.

From the International Shark Attack File summary: Significantly, worldwide there were only six fatalities (producing a 6.1% fatality rate) resulting from unprovoked attacks (two in Reunion and single incidents in Australia, New Caledonia, Hawaii, and Egypt).  The six attacks matched the annual average of the previous decade.  

This total is remarkably low given the billions of human-hours spent in the water each year.

Discovery is also giving some good advice on how to avoid a shark attack, but not without prefacing it with "To avoid adding to the yearly tally", implying that not following that advice would lead to a shark attack. To avoid adding to the yearly tally, Burgess and his team advise not to swim at dusk, dawn or night. They also say not to wear shiny jewelry in the water, and not to swim where people are fishing, where fish are schooling or where seabirds are feeding. 

It's not until the very end of their article that they mention that there is really no reason to worry by saying this. Even with 2015's record-breaking number of shark attacks, your chances of experiencing such a risky encounter are very slim. Burgess reminded that the following culprits killed more people than sharks last year: spiders, dogs and lightning.
  
So Discovery's headline could just as easily have said "Spiders, dogs and lightning kill more people than sharks!" but then again, who would read such an article? I'm really disappointed that an outlet that is supposedly meant to educate on nature and science, is stooping to sensationalizing and spreading fear instead. 



On the other hand, an outlet not usually known for holding back on sensational headlines, FOX 13 news in Tampa Bay had this headline: Researchers: 2015 breaks shark attack record, but don't panic.


They start their article by saying: A record number of unprovoked shark attacks in 2015 prompted University of Florida researchers to find out why.

The school released its report on what might be behind the 98 attacks - a number which breaks the 2000 record of 88 attacks. However, researchers said the increase should not be cause of alarm. Although there were more attacks in 2015, fatality rate was half that of 2000. Also, the increase in attacks was likely due to a growing human population, not a growing hunger amongst sharks for human flesh.

Kudos to FOX 13 in Tampa Bay for reporting a shark attack story factually, without any sensationalism! Who knew that the mainstream media could do a better job at covering this story than a science network?

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

What kills fewer people than sharks each year?


Instagram 

Every time a deadly shark attack occurs, people start pointing out what kills more people than sharks each year. This led me to think of a different question. What kills fewer people than sharks each year? Do you know anything that kills people, but fewer than 6 people worldwide? There might be something, but I haven't found it yet. So keep that question in mind, when you read the following.


A record number of global shark attacks is making the news these days. As expected, the headlines proclaiming this fact vary, along with the tone of the article accompanying them.

Discovery.com has a headline that says: "Record number of shark attacks in 2015" and their article goes on to mention all the places those attacks have happened and how those numbers increased.

Shark attacks hit an all time high last year, with the United States leading all nations in numbers of such attacks, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File.

Climate change, recovering shark populations and more people in the water help to explain the high number of recorded shark attacks for 2015: 98, including six fatalities. All of the attacks were unprovoked.





Discovery stresses the fact that all of those attacks were unprovoked and is careful to point out that we can expect an increase in those numbers. They stress the fact that the number of fatal attacks doubled in 2015 versus 2014.

"Sharks plus humans equals attacks," George Burgess, curator of the file, which houses the globe's clearinghouse of shark attack data, said in a press release. "As our population continues to rapidly grow and shark populations slowly recover, we’re going to see more interactions."
 
2015 broke the prior record, which was set in 2000. That year, there were 88 attacks. 2015 further saw double the number of deaths from shark attacks versus 2014.

Bull Sharks swimming along divers in Fiji
Yes, the number of fatalities doubled versus 2014, but what they fail to mention is that the 2014 number was unusually low and only about half the annual average.

From the International Shark Attack File summary: Significantly, worldwide there were only six fatalities (producing a 6.1% fatality rate) resulting from unprovoked attacks (two in Reunion and single incidents in Australia, New Caledonia, Hawaii, and Egypt).  The six attacks matched the annual average of the previous decade.  

This total is remarkably low given the billions of human-hours spent in the water each year.

Discovery is also giving some good advice on how to avoid a shark attack, but not without prefacing it with "To avoid adding to the yearly tally", implying that not following that advice would lead to a shark attack. To avoid adding to the yearly tally, Burgess and his team advise not to swim at dusk, dawn or night. They also say not to wear shiny jewelry in the water, and not to swim where people are fishing, where fish are schooling or where seabirds are feeding. 

It's not until the very end of their article that they mention that there is really no reason to worry by saying this. Even with 2015's record-breaking number of shark attacks, your chances of experiencing such a risky encounter are very slim. Burgess reminded that the following culprits killed more people than sharks last year: spiders, dogs and lightning.
  
So Discovery's headline could just as easily have said "Spiders, dogs and lightning kill more people than sharks!" but then again, who would read such an article? I'm really disappointed that an outlet that is supposedly meant to educate on nature and science, is stooping to sensationalizing and spreading fear instead. 



On the other hand, an outlet not usually known for holding back on sensational headlines, FOX 13 news in Tampa Bay had this headline: Researchers: 2015 breaks shark attack record, but don't panic.


They start their article by saying: A record number of unprovoked shark attacks in 2015 prompted University of Florida researchers to find out why.

The school released its report on what might be behind the 98 attacks - a number which breaks the 2000 record of 88 attacks. However, researchers said the increase should not be cause of alarm. Although there were more attacks in 2015, fatality rate was half that of 2000. Also, the increase in attacks was likely due to a growing human population, not a growing hunger amongst sharks for human flesh.

Kudos to FOX 13 in Tampa Bay for reporting a shark attack story factually, without any sensationalism! Who knew that the mainstream media could do a better job at covering this story than a science network?

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Wanna dive with Bull Sharks?


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Bull Shark Diving Fiji

Bull Sharks in Fiji are calling you in May of 2016.

Experience what many call the world's best shark dive. We are diving with big, really big bull sharks. The sharks at the Shark Reef Marine Reserve are up to 12 ft. long.


Beqa Adventure Divers will take us out to shark reef, where we will be diving with as many as 70 bull sharks at a time, with the occasional tiger shark showing up for a visit. If that is not enough, during our safety stop we will be surrounded by scores of black- and white-tip reef-sharks, making for the perfect end to an unforgettable dive. On our non shark diving days, we'll go out and explore the soft corals and wrecks of Beqa Lagoon. Discover what over a decade of conservation efforts have resulted in!




This May, Shark Diver's CEO Martin Graf is personally going to lead you on this shark lover's dream vacation!




We will be staying at the luxurious Pearl South Pacific Resort in Pacific Harbor,  where we'll feast on a delicious breakfast buffet each day, to prepare us for the exciting shark diving that lies ahead.






Price: $1800 per person/ double occupancy

Price includes:
  • 7 nights in a brand new Garden View room at The Pearl South Pacific Resort (double occupancy)
  • Breakfast buffet daily
  • 4 days of 2-tank Bull Shark Diving
  • 1 day of 2-tank Soft Coral Diving
  • Round-trip transfers from Nadi Airport to The Pearl South Pacific Resort
  • All taxes (tip for dive crew and hotel staff not included)
Our dates are: 

May 2016, 6-15, 13-22, 20-29, 27- June 6 and June 3-12 (sold out) The trip dates are from the US. We are crossing the date line on our way to Fiji. When we leave on Friday night, we arrive in Fiji on Sunday morning. On our way back, we leave Fiji on Sunday night and arrive in Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon.

Above dates don't work for you? Call us and we can customize a trip for you.


Come join us on this incredible adventure!

Call 619.887.4275 or email staff@sharkdiver.com to book or get more information.

Let's go Shark Diving.

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Can our loving sharks be bad for them?


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How could our loving sharks possibly hurt them? After all, we want to protect them and are fighting those who are hurting them. Why would I even suggest such a ridiculous thing?shark diving, cage diving, swimming with sharks, Guadalupe Island, Great White Shark, shark conservation
OK, lets look at what is going on. I have written about what various conservation  groups are doing here. This time I want to focus on how they are doing it.

Most of us are interested in shark conservation because we love sharks. This love is a powerful motivator to get us to act and and actually do something, instead of just standing on the sidelines. That same love for the sharks is also what can make our efforts ineffective. We tend to argue from the heart and demonize the ones that don't agree with us.

Take this post on Eco Phuket's facebook page. It shows a spearfisherman who shot a shark, cleaning his catch. The comments range from "That is shocking behaviour bloody Neanderthal" to "We got to get this killer consumer out of the water!" How do you think this spearfisherman is going to react to being called a "Neanderthal" and "killer consumer"? Do you really think that will help him see your side and stop fishing for sharks?

Movies like "The cove" show the slaughter of dolphins and pretty much chastise the Japanese for hunting dolphins. They don't just criticize the way they slaughter them, but  the fact that they are killing them in the first place. How do you think the Japanese feel about the way they are portrayed in that movie?

When it comes to shark fin soup, there are plenty of people who just blame the Chinese for the shark finning that is going on. Again, we are demonizing a culture and it is us (the good guys) vs. them (the bad guys) Aside from the fact that it is not just the Chinese that are to blame, ( watch the video below) it is simply not helpful.


Guang Zhou Market for Sea Shepherd USA from Gary Stokes on Vimeo.

I think the first thing we have to do is realize that a shark is just a fish and a dolphin is just an animal. The issue is not weather we love them or not, but rather is the taking of these animals sustainable, is the killing humane etc.  To give you an example, most of you who read this are probably living in the western world and being used to its customs. So when we attack the Japanese for eating dolphins, the Chinese for eating shark fin soup and the Koreans for eating dogs, because it's just not cool to eat those animals, we don't consider what other cultures, e.g: India, must think about our custom of eating "holy cows".

I know, it hurts to see a shark killed, a dolphin slaughtered or a dog eaten, but if we demonize the ones that are doing it, we won't really get them to change. It's just like in politics each side is just blaming and demonizing the other and nothing gets done.

It's easy to get fellow conservationists to agree with us, but how do we get those who don't agree with us, to see our way? As painful as it might be, we actually have to seek a dialogue with those who don't see things our way. There are many individuals and organizations that get it and are doing exactly that.

In Fiji, Beqa Adventure divers helped establish the shark reef marine reserve, which included involving 3 fishing villages who's fishermen agreed not to fish in that area in exchange for receiving a fee from all divers, diving in that area. After 10 years of protecting shark reef, a fisherman told Mike Neumann that before the shark reef marine reserve was established, he could not catch any fish from shore, but now there are plenty of fish there, a spillover effect. This is a great example of conservationist seeking a dialogue with the fishermen and working together to make changes.

Another example is the shark friendly marinas project. By talking to marinas that are home to many sportfishermen, it got some of those marinas to agree to not allow any caught sharks to be landed there. Again, this project is relying on seeking a dialogue with those who are fishing for sharks and make them aware of the problem associated with shark fishing.

Yet another example are fishing tournaments. Guy Harvey is someone well known in the fishing industry and a sponsor of many fishing tournaments. It's easy to condemn shark fishing tournaments, and demonize the fishermen participating in it. But here is how I see it. Instead of having a tournament that catches and kills the sharks, they now catch, tag and release the sharks. Is this ideal? Do all the released sharks survive? No, of course not. But it is way better than the catch and kill tournaments and it makes the fishermen involved in the conservation efforts. Also Guy Harvey, a fisherman, supports many other ocean related conservation efforts.

And who would have thought that the consumption of shark fin soup in China could decline by 70%? Efforts by various groups and Chinese celebrities have turned the tide and it's no longer considered fashionable to serve shark fin soup in China. Again, education and working with a culture instead of against it, has shown results.

It is perfectly fine to love and care about the sharks! I do! We just have to remember that in order to change things, we should seek a dialogue with those who don't see things our way and not just condemn and demonize them. If we only accept a world where nobody kills any sharks and we are not willing to compromise, we will never get things to change. We also have to be prepared to be attacked and ridiculed by our fellow conservationists, for working with the "enemy". Personally, if I can do something that saves just one shark, I don't care what anyone thinks. If they call me a traitor for supporting a catch and release tournament, so be it. For me it's not about the praise of my fellow shark lovers, but about saving the sharks.

OK enough of my rant, I just had to get this off my chest.

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO
Shark Diver


About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Can our loving sharks be bad for them?


Instagram 


How could our loving sharks possibly hurt them? After all, we want to protect them and are fighting those who are hurting them. Why would I even suggest such a ridiculous thing?shark diving, cage diving, swimming with sharks, Guadalupe Island, Great White Shark, shark conservation
OK, lets look at what is going on. I have written about what various conservation  groups are doing here. This time I want to focus on how they are doing it.

Most of us are interested in shark conservation because we love sharks. This love is a powerful motivator to get us to act and and actually do something, instead of just standing on the sidelines. That same love for the sharks is also what can make our efforts ineffective. We tend to argue from the heart and demonize the ones that don't agree with us.

Take this post on Eco Phuket's facebook page. It shows a spearfisherman who shot a shark, cleaning his catch. The comments range from "That is shocking behaviour bloody Neanderthal" to "We got to get this killer consumer out of the water!" How do you think this spearfisherman is going to react to being called a "Neanderthal" and "killer consumer"? Do you really think that will help him see your side and stop fishing for sharks?

Movies like "The cove" show the slaughter of dolphins and pretty much chastise the Japanese for hunting dolphins. They don't just criticize the way they slaughter them, but  the fact that they are killing them in the first place. How do you think the Japanese feel about the way they are portrayed in that movie?

When it comes to shark fin soup, there are plenty of people who just blame the Chinese for the shark finning that is going on. Again, we are demonizing a culture and it is us (the good guys) vs. them (the bad guys) Aside from the fact that it is not just the Chinese that are to blame, ( watch the video below) it is simply not helpful.


Guang Zhou Market for Sea Shepherd USA from Gary Stokes on Vimeo.

I think the first thing we have to do is realize that a shark is just a fish and a dolphin is just an animal. The issue is not weather we love them or not, but rather is the taking of these animals sustainable, is the killing humane etc.  To give you an example, most of you who read this are probably living in the western world and being used to its customs. So when we attack the Japanese for eating dolphins, the Chinese for eating shark fin soup and the Koreans for eating dogs, because it's just not cool to eat those animals, we don't consider what other cultures, e.g: India, must think about our custom of eating "holy cows".

I know, it hurts to see a shark killed, a dolphin slaughtered or a dog eaten, but if we demonize the ones that are doing it, we won't really get them to change. It's just like in politics each side is just blaming and demonizing the other and nothing gets done.

It's easy to get fellow conservationists to agree with us, but how do we get those who don't agree with us, to see our way? As painful as it might be, we actually have to seek a dialogue with those who don't see things our way. There are many individuals and organizations that get it and are doing exactly that.

In Fiji, Beqa Adventure divers helped establish the shark reef marine reserve, which included involving 3 fishing villages who's fishermen agreed not to fish in that area in exchange for receiving a fee from all divers, diving in that area. After 10 years of protecting shark reef, a fisherman told Mike Neumann that before the shark reef marine reserve was established, he could not catch any fish from shore, but now there are plenty of fish there, a spillover effect. This is a great example of conservationist seeking a dialogue with the fishermen and working together to make changes.

Another example is the shark friendly marinas project. By talking to marinas that are home to many sportfishermen, it got some of those marinas to agree to not allow any caught sharks to be landed there. Again, this project is relying on seeking a dialogue with those who are fishing for sharks and make them aware of the problem associated with shark fishing.

Yet another example are fishing tournaments. Guy Harvey is someone well known in the fishing industry and a sponsor of many fishing tournaments. It's easy to condemn shark fishing tournaments, and demonize the fishermen participating in it. But here is how I see it. Instead of having a tournament that catches and kills the sharks, they now catch, tag and release the sharks. Is this ideal? Do all the released sharks survive? No, of course not. But it is way better than the catch and kill tournaments and it makes the fishermen involved in the conservation efforts. Also Guy Harvey, a fisherman, supports many other ocean related conservation efforts.

And who would have thought that the consumption of shark fin soup in China could decline by 70%? Efforts by various groups and Chinese celebrities have turned the tide and it's no longer considered fashionable to serve shark fin soup in China. Again, education and working with a culture instead of against it, has shown results.

It is perfectly fine to love and care about the sharks! I do! We just have to remember that in order to change things, we should seek a dialogue with those who don't see things our way and not just condemn and demonize them. If we only accept a world where nobody kills any sharks and we are not willing to compromise, we will never get things to change. We also have to be prepared to be attacked and ridiculed by our fellow conservationists, for working with the "enemy". Personally, if I can do something that saves just one shark, I don't care what anyone thinks. If they call me a traitor for supporting a catch and release tournament, so be it. For me it's not about the praise of my fellow shark lovers, but about saving the sharks.

OK enough of my rant, I just had to get this off my chest.

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO
Shark Diver


About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.

Breaching great white sharks at Guadalupe Island



Grind TV has a nice article about our breaching great white sharks at Guadalupe Island.
It's nice to see that the media has caught on to the fact that great white sharks are not only breaching in South Africa. Thank you Pete Thomas for a nice article and for mentioning Shark Diver.

Pete Thomas writes:Gerardo del Villar posted video clip to Facebook and YouTube this past week, and linked to a Spanish-language blog post about the island’s white sharks, which rarely breach, and for reasons that are unclear.
Del Villar suggested that Guadalupe’s breaching sharks could be trying to establish dominance in the presence of other sharks, or to remove parasites.
However, Shark Diver’s Martin Graf, whose company pioneered shark diving at Guadalupe Island, said that often it’s the smaller sharks that breach. The larger sharks are the dominant predators.
Said Graf: “There’s no rhyme or reason to it. Usually they breach without any chum or hang-baits in the water. Early morning and dusk seem to be their preferred times, but it can happen anytime.”



Read the entire article at http://www.grindtv.com/wildlife/rare-great-white-shark-breach-videotaped-at-guadalupe-island/#hofozHm4i3bbfwm6.99

You can join us and dive with these amazing sharks. We only have a few spaces left for this season, but are already booking for 2017

Call us at 619.887.4275 or email staff@sharkdiver.com for more info.

Let's go shark diving!

Cheers,
Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver


About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at staff@sharkdiver.com.
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