Shark Accidents, Shark Bites, Shark Accidents And Shark Encounters

Shark Accidents, Shark Bites, Shark Accidents And Shark Encounters

Christopher Neff of the University of Sydney in Australia pens an interesting commentary on the phrase “shark attack”. He makes a case that use of such language leads to inaccurate perceptions of threatened shark species.

He reminds us that “shark accident” was an accepted term until the 1930s, even if it was fatal. He writes, “The phrase “shark attack” is sensationalist and damaging.

The argument for change is compelling. Modern research has shown that bites by sharks are often investigatory or defensive, taking place in cloudy water and out of curiosity
.”

Because a majority of shark-human encounters are never actually witnessed by the swimmer (our assumption), we believe Christopher makes an excellent point based on the reality of shark’s intentions and actions. Additionally, when swimmers in the water actually sight a shark in close proximity, a vast majority of cases never result in a shark bite or shark encounter (defined as the actual physical contact between shark and human).

Read Christopher’s commentary and plea here.

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