Thread: Global Shark Attack File
01-27-2008, 12:54 PM #1
Global Shark Attack File
GLOBAL SHARK ATTACK FILE
In keeping with the philosophy of Albert Einstein, the mission of the Global Shark Attack File is to provide current and historical data on shark/human interactions for those who seek accurate and meaningful information and verifiable references.
For researchers needing more data, and for those in the media, the Global Shark Attack File provides direct contact information of the case investigators.
It is the goal of the Global Shark Attack File to demonstrate and emphasize, through scientific analysis, the significance of shark/human interactions in comparison to the myriad dangers that we face in our daily lives. With a better understanding of these interactions we can minimize the risk of being injured by a shark and concentrate on the conservation of all shark species worldwide.
"Instead of ignoring the problem or pretending that we can put up nets and protect everyone from sharks, what is needed is a public
education campaign to teach people how to live with sharks," Lewis Levine, M.D.
WHY STUDY SHARK ATTACKS?
Because they provide a glimpse - a window - into the world of sharks and their behaviors. By understanding when and why sharks sometimes bite humans it is possible to lessen the likelihood of such accidents. Humans are familiar with predators found on land; we know enough not to walk into a pride of lions and we don't try to pet a growling dog that is baring its teeth. Similarly, we need to recognize and avoid potentially dangerous situations in the water. The individual case histories provide insights about specific geographical areas and their indigenous species of sharks. However, when all known case histories are examined, much is revealed about species behavior, and specific patterns emerge.
Most of the incidents in the Global Shark Attack File have nothing to do with predation. Some incidents are motivated by displacement or are a territorial behavior, or when the shark feels threatened; still others are the result of the shark responding to sensory predatory input (i.e., overwhelmed by the presence of many fishes) and environmental conditions (murky water) which may cause the animal to respond in a reflexive response to stimuli. Sharks also exhibit curiosity and may investigate unknown or unfamiliar objects; they learn by exploring their environment, and - lacking hands - they use their mouths and teeth to examine unfamiliar objects.
A very small percentage of shark species, about two dozen, are considered potentially dangerous to humans because of their size and dentition. Yet each year, for every human killed by a shark, our species slaughters more than 10 million sharks - about 100 million sharks last year. We are stripping the world's oceans of one of its most valuable predators - animals that play a critical role in maintaining the health of the world's oceans. An unreasonable fear of sharks has been implanted in our minds by the hype that surrounds the rare shark attack and by movies that exploit our primal fears. It is the mission of the Global Shark Attack File to present facts about these events, thus enabling them to be put in perspective. Sharks are necessary and vital to the ocean ecosystem. Without sharks our planet's ocean could eventually become a watery graveyard, with little sustainable life. This is not the legacy the Global Shark Attack File and the Shark Research Institute wishes to leave our children and our children's children.
The Global Shark Attack File was created to provide medical personnel, shark behaviorists, lifesavers, and the media with meaningful information resulting from the scientific forensic examination of shark accidents. Whenever possible, GSAF investigators conduct personal interviews with patients and witnesses, medical personnel and other professionals, and conduct examinations of the incident site. Weather and sea conditions and environmental data are evaluated in an attempt to identify factors that contributed to the incident.
Early on, we became aware that the word "attack" was usually a misnomer. An "attack" by a shark is an extremely rare event, even less likely than statistics suggest. When a shark bites a surfboard, leaving the surfer unharmed, it was historically recorded as an "attack". Collisions between humans and sharks in low visibility water were also recorded as "attacks".
When a shark grabs a person by the hand/wrist and tows them along the surface, tosses a surfboard (or a Frisbee as in case 1968.08.24) it is probably "play behavior", not aggression. How can case 1971.04.11 which the swimmer was repeatedly bitten by a large shark and case 1985.01.04 in which the diver's injury necessitated a Band-aid be compared? It is akin to comparing a head-on high-speed vehicular collision with a shopping cart ding on the door of a parked car. Global Shark Attack File believes the only way to sort fact from hype is by forensic examination of each incident.
Although incidents that occur in remote areas may go unrecorded, the Global Shark Attack File is a compilation of a number of data sources, and we have a team of qualified researchers throughout the world that actively investigate these incidents. One of our objectives is to provide a clear picture of the actual threat presented by sharks to humans. In this regard, we remind our visitors that more people drown in a single year in the United States than have been killed by sharks throughout the entire world in the last two centuries.
Seek advice of local people before swimming, surfing or diving in areas where shark attacks have occurred.
Reason: Locals know the area.
Remain aware of your surroundings and the behavior of marine life nearby.
Reason: Their actions may alert you to the presence of marine predators.
If you suddenly become uneasy, leave the water immediately.
Reason: Your instincts may be providing a warning of impending danger.
Do not harass or touch any shark, even a small one.
Reason: Any shark is capable of inflicting injury.
If swimming or surfing do not enter the water when sharks are present, and leave the water the water slowly and quietly if they are sighted or you are requested to do so by a lifeguard.
Reason: If sharks are in the immediate area, the risk of injury is increased.
Do not swim, surf or dive alone
Reason: Sharks may be more likely to bite solitary individuals, and if you are injured there is nobody to help you.
Do not stray far from shore
Reason: You are farther from assistance, should you need it.
Avoid swimming at night.
Reason: There is strong evidence to suggest that sharks move in closer to a land mass (island or shore) following sunset.
Avoid murky or turbid water.
Reason: Some species of sharks hunt in murky or turbid water, others may bite because of stress, and others may simply fail to recognize an object and bite to find out what it is. It is also difficult to defend yourself from something you cannot see.
Avoid swimming close to river mouths.
Reason: Freshwater plankton dies and attracts fish, some species of fish spawn at river mouths, and carcasses of dead animals are carried downstream. All these conditions attract predators such as sharks.
Be cautious when swimming in the breakers.
Reason: Sharks may become stressed due to the low visibility and sudden presence of humans..
Don't swim close to sandbars.
Reason: Any natural structure attracts a variety of marine animals and may be a feeding area for sharks.
Be cautious crossing channels between sandbars or on the edge of steep drop offs.
Reason: These are often feeding areas for sharks.
Avoid swimming or surfing near jetties.
Reason: These are often feeding areas for sharks.
Do not corner a shark or cut off its path to open water.
Reason: It may feel threatened and react defensively.
Avoid swimming in areas where birds are diving into the water.
Reason: Diving birds indicate schools of fish are in the area and the likelihood that sharks in the area is increased.
If schools of fish are milling nearby, do not attempt to chase them from the area.
Reason: Frightened, darting fish create distinctive sounds that are very attractive to sharks.
If baitfish are leaping at or above the surface, leave the water immediately.
Reason: Predator fish, possibly sharks, are feeding on the baitfish.
If spearfishing or collecting shellfish, do not attach your catch to a stringer at your waist, and stay alert when removing
a fish from your spear. If wade-fishing, do not carry bait on your person.
Reason: A shark attempting to snatch your catch or the bait, could inadvertently injure you.
If spearfishing, change your location frequently.
Reason: The vibrations of speared fish attract sharks.
Avoid areas where any type of fishing activity is taking place or offal is dumped into the sea.
Reason: These areas attract sharks.
The presence of porpoises and dolphins may indicate sharks are hunting in the area.
Reason: These species often feed with sharks.
Leave the water when pods of dolphin cluster or head inshore
Reason: This behavior is often associated with the proximity of sharks.
Avoid swimming, surfing or diving in the vicinity of pinniped haul-outs or rookeries.
Reason: These animals are the prey of large sharks, including white sharks.
Avoid high contrast swim suits
Reason: It is thought sharks are attracted to high-contrast objects.
Refrain from excess splashing or making quick, abrupt movements in the water.
Reason: It suggests an animal in distress.
Do not swim with dogs or horses.
Reason: Their splashing may attract a predator.
If a shark approaches uncomfortably close, keep it at bay with your speargun or a shark “billy”.
Do not attempt to spear the shark unless you think an attack is imminent.
Reason: The shark may simply be curious, but if you respond with aggression the shark may react in the same way.
If you are bitten by a shark and you are wearing a wetsuit, don't remove the wetsuit except to control arterial bleeding.
Reason: A wetsuit acts as a pressure bandage and restricts the loss of blood.
Take both a CPR course and an advanced first aid course.
Reason: Many fatalities in the GSAF file could have been avoided if arterial bleeding had been recognized and stopped, and basic life support provided until professional medical assistance arrived. The life you save could be your own or that of a loved one.
click here to download the GSAF Incident Log as a Microsoft Excel file
Please note: If you are a returning visitor, refresh this page before downloading the Incident Log. The Log is updated with each new incident.
Serious researchers are invited to join GSAF and gain access to additional data.
All individuals survived unless noted otherwise.
Entries on the spreadsheet are color-coded.
• Unprovoked Incidents = Tan
• Provoked Incidents = Orange
• Attacks on Boats = Green
• Air / Sea Disasters = Yellow
• Questionable Incidents = Blue
Unprovoked vs. Provoked - GSAF defines a provoked incident as one in which the shark was speared, hooked, captured or in which a human drew "first blood". Although such incidents are of little interest to shark behaviorists, when the species of shark involved is known and pre-op photos of the wounds are available, the bite patterns are of value in determining species of shark involved in other cases when the species could not identified by the patient or witnesses. We know that a live human is rarely perceived as prey by a shark. Many incidents are motivated by curiosity, others may result when a shark perceives a human as a threat or competitor for a food source, and could be classed as "provoked" when examined from the shark's perspective.
Attacks on Boats – Incidents in which a boat was bitten or rammed by a shark are in green. However, in cases in which the shark was hooked, netted or gaffed, the entry is orange because they are classed as provoked incidents.
Casualties of War & Air/Sea Disasters - Sharks maintain the health of the marine ecosystem by removing the dead or injured animals. Many incidents result because, like other animals that don't rely on instinct alone, sharks explore their environment. Lacking hands, they may investigate an unfamiliar object with their mouths. Unlike humans, there is no malice in sharks; they simply do what nature designed them to do. Air/Sea Disasters are accidents that place people into the day-to-day business of sharks. The wartime losses due to sharks result from mans' cruelty to man. Air/Sea Disasters are in yellow.
Questionable incidents - are in blue.
01-27-2008, 01:00 PM #2
BRONZE WHALER SHARK Carcharhinus brachyurus ( aka Copper shark)
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: A large shark with a long moderately rounded broad snout, and a bulge at the base of the upper caudal fin.
COLOR: Olive grey to bronze above, white below, most fins with dusky edges. Its flanks have a pale blaze from below the dorsal fin to the tail.
SIZE: Males mature at 6.6 ft to 7.5 ft [2 to 2.3 m], females mature at 7.9 feet [2.4 m], maximum length about 9.8 ft [3 m] .
TEETH: The upper teeth have a distinct outwardly hooked shape.
HABITAT: Often seen close inshore feeding on schooling fish, frequently within the surf zone. It is also found around offshore islands over deep water and to depths of 100 m.
DISTRIBUTION: Warm temperate to subtropical waters of the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Indo Pacific. It is seasonally migratory in at least part of its range. Along the coast of southern Africa it follows the giant shoals of migrating sardines.
Prey – Feeds on pelagic, shoaling and bottom bony fishes, cephalopods, smaller sharks, and rays.
Reproduction – Viviparous; females nourish embryos with a yolk-sac placenta and give birth to live young.
BEHAVIOR: This is an active fast-moving shark, and it can leap out of the water.
DISPOSITION: This species has been implicated in bites to humans, particularly spear fishermen.
Check out the link above
01-27-2008, 01:01 PM #3
Mako shark attacks fisherman
Shark attacks Australian fisherman on boat deck
BRISBANE, Australia – A 200-pound mako shark attacked a fisherman on his boat deck, biting him on the leg after the man reeled it in while fishing off Australia's east coast Sunday, an official said.
The 20-year-old deckhand was airlifted by helicopter rescue, said Brian Russell, a spokesman for the rescue service. He was flown to the Gold Coast Hospital where his condition was reported as stable before he underwent surgery.
The man had been fishing for tuna when he reeled in the 10-foot shark and landed it on the deck.
“He stepped on its tail and it whipped around and latched on to his tight calf, biting through to the bone,” Russell said.
“The shark had his leg clamped in its jaws for several minutes until other deckhands cut its head off,” he added.
Paramedic Darrin Hatchman said the victim was lucky to be alive because the bite narrowly missed major arteries.
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