The sea is not our natural environment, but we’ve learned to enjoy it, seeking pleasure from the waves and cooling waters. Spending time in this environment, humans inevitably come into contact with its apex predators, which we are not expertly equipped to sense and avoid. This year has brought a record-breaking number of shark attacks in places such as Hawaii, North Carolina, and New South Wales, Australia, raising an outcry from some communities for their governments to kill off sharks. Authorities in Queensland killed nearly 700 sharks last year, sweeping up dolphins, dugongs, and sea turtles in the process, according to Australia’s ABC news service, and the state of Western Australia promoted, then rescinded, a controversial shark culling policy. Although shark attacks are remarkably rare — the odds of the average American being killed by a shark is estimated at just 1 in 3.7 million, for example — the media attention that surrounds each incident incites a frenzied fear.
Read more on the Mongabay.com website. Mongabay is a leading website for environmental news, read by millions of people around the world.
November 29, 2015