The mention of the Great White Shark sends shivers down the spine of any swimmer, surfer, or diver. The prospect of encountering a Great White makes anyone become paranoid when entering the water. Yet the reality is that shark attacks are very rare, considering how many people enter the water each and every day around the globe.
In fact, on average, only one person is killed by a shark every two years in the U.S., according to the National Geographic Channel. So it’s true that when you visit the beach, you are more likely to be killed from lightning strikes, surfing accidents, or drowning than being munched by a shark.
Unfortunately, shark attacks can prompt an angry or scared response for the community to hunt down and kill the suspect shark. This revengeful retaliation makes no sense, as the ocean is the shark’s natural environment, and people must weigh up the associated risks themselves as to whether they enter the water.
Secondly, because of the persecution of sharks and the shark fin soup industry that accommodates Chinese cuisine, shark numbers are rapidly declining. Female sharks take 12 years to reach sexual maturity, then only go on to mother one pup every three years. If the shark hunting continues, they will end up on the endangered species list — what a great shame!
The real threat is humans — they kill 25,000 sharks each year!
Beach goers help a beached Great White
Thankfully, not all believe “a good shark is a dead shark.” Many people who appreciate the beach’s natural environment also have respect for the aquatic wildlife that dwells therein.
Watch this video form Caters TV: On a sunny day at Cape Cod beach, Massachusetts, U.S.A., a crowd of people worked together to dig a trench and pull a stranded Great White Shark back to the sea — a great moment captured!
Unfortunately, this particular shark did not survive despite the crowd’s heroic intentions.
Shark attack facts
- You have a 1 in 3,700,000 chance of being killed by a shark in your lifetime. Whereas, you have a 1 in 63 chance of dying from the flu.
- Toilets are more likely to injure you than a shark. In 1996, 43,000 people obtained injuries from using a toilet. In the same year, sharks injured only 13 people in the U.S.
- In the whole world, only 4.2 people are killed by sharks on average each year.
- The majority of shark attacks in the U.S. happen in Florida.
- Of the 20 million people who visit the beach each year, only 36 are involved in shark attacks, whereas 30,000 need aid from surfing accidents.
Great Whites need saving
Great White shark numbers are dropping. They now sit in the “vulnerable” category of endangered species. Human hostility is the greatest threat to this ancient creature of the blue. Such acts as “revenge killings,” trophy killings, and general hunting for meat and shark fins have impacted the population that has exceptionally slow breeding cycles.
Conservation groups aim to support Great Whites by educating people about the important role that Great Whites have in nature. Hopefully, this will make people less hostile toward sharks as they begin to value their presence for the sake of the ocean’s eco-system.