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Friday
Sep032010

Want to Avoid a Great White Shark Attack?

If you live in Southern California and swim, surf, or scuba dive at local beaches, chances are decent that you've been in the water near to a Great White Shark and not even known it. Don't believe it? Check out the Shark Research Committee website and then watch the video below taken by a surfer just off of San Onofre, California in fairly shallow water.



Great White Sharks are thought to live in Southern California waters using it as a birthing grounds. Lately, sightings of Great White Sharks have been increasing. Is it time to get concerned? How can you protect yourself?

The answer: A recent increase in Great White Shark sightings is simply not a concern for beachgoers. Most local surfers, with a considerable amount of time spent in the water, will tell you that Great White sightings are incredibly rare if not urban legend. Most, with decades of regular surfing experience under their belts, have never even seen a single one. Still, the idea of a White Shark conjures up thoughts reminiscent of Jaws, the movie, where a large Great White Shark terrorizes a small beach town on the east coast devouring swimmers and boaters with little trouble.

Cue the music. Duuuuuh......dum. Duuuuuh......dum. Duh dum...Duh dum...Duh dum...Duh-duh-dum.

This might be a good place for a preachy lecture on turning off one's television every once in a while, especially the ridiculous, inaccurate series known as "Shark Week", to simply read a book instead. It might be a great opportunity to be reminded that Jaws is just a movie, a movie with virtually no foundation in science. It might also be a good opportunity to mention the likelihood of actually encountering a Great White Shark in the wild as discussed in an older article that I wrote: Shark Week and Jaws of Death. Finally, this might be a good opportunity to mention that Great White Sharks are not arbitrary killers that enjoy human flesh as a food source.

Instead...I'm going to ask you to visit a local beach.

When you get there, notice the hundreds, if not thousands, of people there enjoying the ocean, each in their own way. Are they uninformed about the risks of a shark attack or ignorant of the perils of swimming in the open ocean?

Could thousands of local scuba divers be wrong? Could an even larger number of swimmers and surfers be irresponsibly placing their lives at risk?

Decide for yourself.


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