The Seychelles Shark Attack...Sharks 1, Man, 60-Million! The One-Sided Truth of Shark v. Man Attack

The Four Considered the Most Deadly Maneaters

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Large Bull SharkThe Beautiful but deadly Oceanic White TipA Great White showing that deadly mawTiger Shark showing the bars that earned the name.
Large Bull Shark
Large Bull Shark
The Beautiful but deadly Oceanic White Tip
The Beautiful but deadly Oceanic White Tip
A Great White showing that deadly maw
A Great White showing that deadly maw
Tiger Shark showing the bars that earned the name.
Tiger Shark showing the bars that earned the name.

Sharks, 60; Man, 60-Million!!

We all saw reports of the bather taken off a beach in the Seychelles this week, another of the few shark attacks that occur every year around the world.

It was a tragic incident, no doubt about it, and exacerbated by the fact the victim was the husband of honeymooners and the wife stood on the beach, screaming, as she witnessed her mate dying in agony and being partially devoured.

Now the officials in the Seychelles, with an eye to the island's tourism figures as much to seeking “justice” for the victim's family, have instituted a shark hunt. They have said they will "locate the shark responsible, no matter what the cost!" They meant the cost to them, no doubt, but the sharks will really be footing the bill as many innocent creatures will no doubt suffer.

We saw some aerial photos of a truly huge Bull-Shark in waters near the incidents (a French swimmer was also taken a month previously at the same location). He (the shark) was trailed by about a dozen large Remora fish, which shadow sharks, partaking of bits of their blood meals. Bull sharks, some of the leading man-eaters, have been recorded attacking swimmers, especially in salt-water estuaries.

Although there has been the occasional, non-fatal attack by sharks not normally known as man-eaters, the four species carrying most of the burden of human death and disfigurement are the Great White, Tiger Shark, Bull Shark, and the lesser known, the Oceanic Whitetip. (With Hammerheads and Makos, etc., on the cautionary list).

The last on the list, the Whitetip, receives less publicity, but is by far the most deadly if statistics of death are considered. It is the deep ocean monster that has been seen, time and time again, attacking passengers after shipping disasters. It gets its name from the white tip of its dorsal and other fins as well as tips on the tail fin.

The Great White, also called the "White Death," is the shark which has received the most publicity, which it may not have entirely deserved. Peter Benchley, the author of the book, "Jaws," which led to the horror (and nonsense) picture of the same name, spent the last years of his life trying to undo some of the harm he has caused to these stunning creatures. One of the worst features of this - and other - films of sharks and other predators is the producers anthropomorphising of the unwitting creatures and ascribing mindless violence, planning, cunning, revenge and other characteristics to them which really only belong to one creature, and you all know who that is!

The truth is that sharks are in no way "mindless killers" as they have been portrayed, but in the main frightened of man and disinterested in eating man's polluted flesh, except in rare circumstances. This is why there are only about 60 reported attacks per year, world-wide, a small proportion of which are fatal. (In the year 2000, for example, there were only 79 attacks with 11 fatalities...and that was the worst year in modern history!) Of course, many attacks go unrecorded in waters off Africa, South American and other oceanic areas "off the media map." This has been found to be true of crocodile attack, too, where many are killed every year in the African watersheds, and go unreported except to journalists visiting the area.

It must be true that more primitive people (by our yardsticks) expect to suffer loss of life in the environment they share with wild predators, many of which they kill all the time for their own (or Chinese!) interests.

I say this about China, because man is killing SIXTY MILLION SHARKS PER YEAR. I think that's worth emphasising. A HUGE percentage of which go to Asia to satisfy the insatiable demand for shark-fin soup and other delicacies from the organs of sharks.

Most shark attacks HAVE, in fact, occured in North American waters, off the coasts of Florida, Hawaii, the Gulf Coast and the South West. This followed by Australia and South America (the last a great operating ground for Great Whites). Australia has a LOT of sharks, especially tigers, and only its great safety record keeps its attack stats. down. People are very shark conscious there, but they don’t let it interfere with their national obsession with surfing and other water sports and pastimes. All large swimming and surfing beaches, such as Bondi and Manly, etc.,in NSW, have life-guards with top warning and rescue equipment, including surf boats which can be launched for the beach in any conditions. At the weekends, they have spotter aircraft patrolling up and down the beaches and seas. If a large shark is spotted, sirens are sounded and people get out of the water (I saw many surfers on boards ignoring the warnings...not me, I was still running when I hit the promenade!).

Other, harbour-side beaches have shark nets. No one swims at night in the Sydney harbour and dogs are not allowed in the water in this area. (Sharks do take dogs frequently, probably because they splash around and attract the predator’s attention).

Another statistic for you: In more than 300 years of reporting shark attacks in the USA. there has only been just over 1000 attacks. Would you like to take a guess of the number of sharks suffering “man-attack” during that period? Go for it, then, it will run into the billions, world-wide.

Man needs to take as many sensible precautions as possible when swimming in the sea: the chances of being bitten by a shark are less than being hit by lightning in any given year!

But these amazing creatures which have been on the planet millions of years longer than we have - or ever will, I am sure, are the victims which really need protection from man.

Not enough study has been done about shark attack; man-eaters and the victims themselves: were they bleeding, menstruating; how were they behaving at the time of the attack? And just how is over- fishing affecting the shark and its natural prey. How old was the shark at the time of the attack: was it, like many ageing land predators such as the lion, just incapable of catching its normal prey?

Notes on Seychelles Attack.

There is little doubt that this was about as horrifying as any attack of a large predator on man can be. The victim had gone snorkelling to see turtles which congregate at areas of the beach. It may be noted that large sharks also predate on turtles. His cries were heard by two French yachtsmen who bravely launched a flimsy dinghy and pulled him into it. One of the rescuers was a surgeon and he said he was shocked at the amount of blood in the water and the horrific wounds.

He said “He had virtually been eaten, with one arm missing and all the muscle and flesh torn from one thigh.”

There was a hospital fairly near, but the ambulance took 30 minutes to arrive and by then he had lost too much blood.

There was a sad moment where his wife was able to hold his hand and say goodbye. She said “I saw the resignation in his eyes.”

Two things which may be noted and is no doubt being bandied-around by the shark-hunters and experts summoned by worried Seychelles officials. One is that is was a very big shark as determined by bite marks and the ferocity of the attack. It was also a shark after a meal, not one defending itself from an intruder in its domain. This also might indicate its familiarity with human meat.


I am sure there will be a huge law suit held against the irresponsible Seychelles tourist facility officers who did not advise tourists of the first fatal attack one month previously. And, apparently, it is coming to light they issued a gag-order on guides and other staff not to mention the incident or the fact that there had, indeed, been more attacks over the years that were not reported.


The one blameless creature in all this is the shark. We were intruding in his waters and he was only doing what sharks do every day, getting his dinner.


There is a lot to be answered before you go off in a mindless shark hunt again, Seychelles’ fishermen, like that which f

There is a lot to be answered before you go off in a mindless shark hunt again, Seychelle‘s fishermen, like that which followed Jaws!

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Comments 13 comments

PETER LUMETTA profile image

PETER LUMETTA 5 years ago from KENAI, ALAKSA

Fascinating look at the top of the oceanic food chain. Sharks are animals doing what they have done for milloins of years, there just a lot more humans in their oceans. We kill what we don't understand. Peter


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Peter: Yes, and we seem to prize our often miserable lives over that of all the other creatures. If they can "accept" the homicidal action of mankind towards their species, surely we should accept with some equanimity when a natural maneater "makes a mistake" by eating one of us...Bob


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Rajesh Mohapatra

Good


cathylynn99 profile image

cathylynn99 5 years ago from northeastern US

as usual, fascinating, humane hub. some problems with subject/ verb agreement. i know you know better. do you have editor's block?


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Do you have PMS? Bob


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 5 years ago from New York

LOL It's simple, 'how to avoid shark attacks?' Stay out of the water. Great hub. It's not like sharks are driving cars, knocking on doors and then attacking people. I love this hub!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

No, Bobbi, keep on swimming; you have more chance of being struck by lightning than attacked by a shark...you have more chance of being killed in your kitchen by the toaster! But what you say is true,we should not be targetting them. But mankind is the neurotic killer ape. Bob


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Weren't there some cannibals that recently apologized for eating Methodists? I forgot where I saw that tidbit I was so busy laughing about it.

In Cozumel once our dive team went down and petted a sleeping nurse shark. While they are not known to attack divers, they still have sharp teeth and abrasive skin. Sharks are like any large carnivore, yes, they do need to eat. We, as humans, are far more dangerous and hungry than sharks are.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

All true. Haha...did they think they were Catholics! Ha.

In the main, the more than 200 species of shark are completely harmless to man. Most wild animals are, especially if we use a modicum of good sense. I mean, petting is not natural in most species; especially one species to another. Imagine a tiger coming up and chucking one of us under the chin and saying "Good, boy, good little monkey!" Bob


QudsiaP1 profile image

QudsiaP1 5 years ago

The closest I have ever been to a shark is when my dad and I were fishing and we caught a baby shark by mistake. The sound track of 'Jaws' kept running in my head. We let it go.

Also I have seen sharks in those aquariums but the dead look in their eyes freak the crap out of me.

Honestly, I think it is foolish to blame sharks for hunting, they are predators; that is what they do.

By the way, congrats on reaching the big '100'.

The real people at fault are the beach people; who should warn swimmers of the possible lurking danger.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Apparently according to the test there were a shark and another fish (forgotten) reponsible in two incidents. It is always sad when humans get killed but as you say the fish just wants food. Great hub,Bob.


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

Are you sure you mean 60 'million' sharks a year? Somehow I can't even imagine there are that many in the ocean. That is an amazing number.

Amazing hub.

Voting up and sharing.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Hello Diogenes. Astonishing hub. It is a shame and a shameful reality; we continually encroach into the habitat of wild creatures, in sea as well as on land, and then are surprised or aghast when something goes terribly 'wrong.' We have taken so much of the native habitat of wild things, and, as you point out, we frolic in waters not meant for our presence, where natural predators live and feed. In our lust for revenge, we, then, seek out a single animal; killing many in our path, in attempts to undo the disastrous results of our folly. We plunge on, in ignorance and arrogance, insisting that the entire earth is ours! Woe to any other living being who happens to come into contact with us.

I mourn for the beautiful mountain lions; once native and plentiful; now, several species extinct; rubbed out by us. One mountain lion, existing on limited hunting grounds; once plentiful, now diminished due to our ever expanding invasion into open lands. The lion seeks privacy and seclusion yet, we, in our arrogance and ego driven behaviors, force our presence upon him....he reacts/responds and, now Hell is to pay for the poor animal for daring to encounter the intruder (us). Next, dozens take up arms in their search for the "killer beast," who was, simply, doing what nature dictates....and behaves in the exact opposite manner as we do...we act out of maliciousness, ego and a feeling that it is our "right" to interject ourselves into every other creature's habitate. And, should he respond to protect or survive; we exact holy Hell upon him....to his death.

What an imbalance. Tragedy and Shame.

I feel for the poor couple who experienced this tragic event....we should know better, by now.

You have mentioned the unbelievable #'s of sharks killed for the "exotic" tastes of cultures: "shark fin soup" for instance...an entire shark killed for his fins....only...left to die in the waters as he no longer has the ability to swim.

I could go on and on...this is my concern; that we, humans, stomp all over the earth and inhabitants out of our sense of superiority and entitlement..as if this earth and living creatures are "ours." It is not and they are not.

Excellent hub, Diogenes....All ups but funny. Kathy

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