A shark story

February 28th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The fatal shark attack yesterday at Muriwai reminds me of my one and only shark encounter.

A couple of years ago I was holidaying at a pacific island. Was staying in a bungalow on the beach and got there a day before FOD (Friend of ). The sea looked lovely so I went in for a swim.

Had a lovely half hour enjoying the warm ocean, swimming around.

The following day was joined by FOD and we decided to go swimming. I’d found that the coral reef around 20 metres out was shallow enough that you almost scraped yourself swimming over it, so suggested we dive off the end of the wharf, around 75 metres out.

I dove in first and the water was beautiful. The whole sea was warm but at the end of the wharf was an especially warm spot. You were surrounded by tropical fish. It was like being in a movie set.

I encouraged FOD to dive in also but she said she was concerned about . I laughed and said that I was out swimming yesterday and didn’t see any and not to be so silly and to come in.

She again said she was worried, and how could I know that there were no sharks. I pointed out that there was a second coral reef around half a km out and I doubted sharks could even get in past it.

Frustratingly she still expressed concern and her shark phobia was getting annoying. Now by chance I had been reading that very morning the book Superfreakonomics. One of the chapters of this excellent book was on shark attacks and on how the Jaws movie had terrified the world about sharks, but in fact fatal shark attacks are very rare.

So I quoted Superfreakonomics to FOD, and cited the passage that on average there are only four fatal shark attacks a year and 200 fatal elephant attacks so 50 times as many people die from elephants (and I suspect people spend more time in oceans than they do near elephants).

Now around 10 seconds after I finished citing the incredibly low probability of shark attacks to FOD, she then yelled out “David there’s a shark behind you“.

Now naturally I laughed. I’m not that gullible. I responded that I’m not going to fall for such an obvious joke and remained where I was in the water, facing the wharf and the shore.

FOD then yelled out “No I’m serious, there is a shark behind you, get out“. I paused briefly and considered that this may not be a practical joke. It is the sort of practical joke I would play on someone else, but not the sort of joke FOD would play. So I responded with a challenge and said if she was having me on I would make it my mission to throw her in the water until an actual shark does turn up.

FOD then yells out “Get the fuck out now”. It dawns on me that she is actually serious and there is a shark approaching me from behind. I immediately start swimming very very very quickly towards the wharf and haul myself out of the water as quickly as possible. Adrenaline is flowing and the heart beat elevated.

Once up on the wharf I start looking for this alleged shark and I’m still a tiny bit skeptical that there really was a shark behind me. After around 20 seconds no sign of a shark and I am threatening to throw FOD in the water. But then I see a shark swim in front of the wharf. It is around 5 feet in length and I turn slightly pale. It has enough of a jaw on it that it would be highly unpleasant (to say the least) to have it on your leg or arm.

I gracefully concede to FOD that there was a shark, and I may owe her my thanks. She remarks though that she doesn’t think that is the shark she saw. I say of course it would be. Then a few seconds later an approx 11 foot shark swims by, and she exclaims “That’s what I saw“.  I turn an even more pale shade of pale as this shark is definitely big enough to make a meal of you. Then two more sharks turn up and I am watching four sharks swim about the exact spot I was in less than a minute earlier. I begin mentally cursing the authors of Superfreakonomics!

It occurs to me that we should warn someone that there are now four sharks in the water. I locate the resort manager and tell him about the four sharks. He exclaims “Oh yes, they come around every day“. He then offers me the chance to see him feed them at 5 pm. The time was 4 pm.

A thought occurs to me, and I ask “Where exactly do you feed them?” and he said “Off the end of the wharf“.

The remaining blood in my circulation freezes as I consider not only was I in the water with four sharks, I was swimming in their dining room!

Needless to say there was no more beach swimming on that holiday.

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52 Responses to “A shark story”

  1. TheContrarian (1,043 comments) says:

    Last year I went cage diving off the coast of False Bay near Cape Town….those whites are some BIG creatures

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  2. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    I was swimming in their dining room!

    That is absolutely correct. If we dress up as dinner, and go into their domain then it’s their rules. I’m no tree hugger, but I was pissed to hear that someone [cop?] went shooting at that shark yesterday.

    I’ve been in a dinghy (with 5 children) off the coast of Oz, and had a shark longer than the dinghy swam by once, then turned and give us a non-trivial nudge on the second pass. We got of of there very, very quickly!

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  3. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Good story.

    There are a number of theories about why wild animals seem to be losing their fear of humans – with the resulting increase in attacks. Part of it can be explained that we are expanding into wild habitats but this doesn’t account for the fact that wild animal attacks are greater than they were during pioneer days.

    I know that some shark experts lament the fact that, by feeding them, we are training sharks to associate humans with food. I have read elsewhere that our conservation-minded sensibility has taught Alaskan wolves that they have nothing to fear from people. A good book on this phenomenon is Nature Wars by Jim Sterba.

    A sad, unintended consequence of the de-monsterisation of dangerous wildlife.

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  4. metcalph (1,293 comments) says:

    The Sharks would have left you alone. Professional courtesy and all that.

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  5. Colville (1,771 comments) says:

    I did a 10 day live aboard trip 150kms out from Cairns in the coral sea, while diving on a mile deep reef face chased a turtle down past 60 meters trying to get a decent pic, dive computer getting very loud telling me I was going to die, I put the hand brake on and looked at turtle playing below me (turtles are fast!)
    Down about another 20 or 30 meters there was a grey/white submarine with its nose into the current asleep. At least 6 meters long. It wouldnt have even needed to chew me before swallowing.

    100 meter vis in 28 C waters….ahhhhhhhhhhhh :-)

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  6. tvb (3,939 comments) says:

    They do not like lawyers either for professional reasons. They do not eat their kith and kin.

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  7. Elaycee (4,067 comments) says:

    KK:

    I’m no tree hugger, but I was pissed to hear that someone [cop?] went shooting at that shark yesterday.

    Apparently, the Police used an M4 Bushmaster when trying to recover the body of the poor bugger who had been chomped / killed. They had to fire at the shark to get it to release the body…

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  8. Colville (1,771 comments) says:

    Re: feeding da fish.
    On same trip as above there was a barracouda that followed the yacht around knowing it would get scraps thrown overboard.
    It was absolutley verboten to hand feed it.
    This ‘couda was Barry Mk 2. Barry the first had to be shot because it developed a habit on biting peoples hands looking for food. A 2 meter couda has BIG teeth!

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  9. Akaroa (487 comments) says:

    Interesting recollection David, thanks for sharing.

    Some years ago I swam daily on a beach in Aden, it was called Conquest Bay. (Don’t know who conquered who!!) I was a ‘British Bayonet’ and serving Queen and country at the time.

    Aden was not a tourist destination – (surprise, surprise!!) – and the tourist count was consequently zero and falling! This meant that self and similar bods had our choice of several fabulous beaches all of which were normally pristine and empty of the ghastly impedimenta of tourism.

    No sharknets, no loungers, no bar, no on-beach massages, no icecream, no sunshades, no touts – just sand and sea. Oh, and fascinating rock pools of Olympic swimming pool dimensions filled with countless colourful varieties of tropical fish.

    Another beach – Gold Mohur – had a shark net of sorts. Also hordes of expats and the bar, loungers, etc., etc, listed above.

    Never saw a shark at the isolated empty beaches self and buddies frequented. Had a few great BBQs and midnight swims though!!

    Just saying , is all!!

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  10. krazykiwi (9,188 comments) says:

    Elaycee – Thanks for that. I retract. Shooting looks to be entirely justified in those ghastly circumstances.

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  11. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    Heh, thanks for that.

    After the last few days, you have restored my faith in humanity or shark-based media reporting or something.

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  12. Elaycee (4,067 comments) says:

    Shades of ‘Jaws’… I recall visiting a place in Australia that had (their description) the largest Great White ever caught. The fish was kept in a refrigerated container / viewing windows etc and it was massive – I remember watching the video of it being caught and could hardly believe what I was seeing…

    IIRC, when it was brought to the boat, it couldn’t be taken aboard because it was just too big. Instead, it was towed several hours back to port. When they went to put it on a truck, the crane tipped on its nose and a second crane was used in tandem. The thing was eventually measured at just under 24 feet long and confirmed as weighing 2.47 tonnes!

    I think its the shark now on display at Vic Hislop’s place in Hervey Bay, Qld:

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2463/4051907963_7a099c8965_b.jpg

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  13. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    Fuck that. I don’t even like big starfish.

    Sharks are beautiful, magnificent creatures, best viewed from behind a thick window of clear acrylic…

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  14. davidp (3,320 comments) says:

    Here is the story of my one and only shark encounter:

    I went to my fish and chippie. The shark was covered in batter. The end.

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  15. rouppe (852 comments) says:

    David, it was probably a white-tip or black-tip reef shark. So called because there is a splash of white (or black) right on the tip of the dorsal fin.

    They are no more dangerous that a tuna or a kahawai (even though they are bigger). They are puppy dogs.

    I was diving along a reef in the Solomons that has resident white-tips. As I was swimming along, they would swim along about 10 meters behind. Every time I stopped to look a them they did that puppy dog thing of turning away and pretending to look at something else. I’d carry on, they’d follow. I’d stop and look, they’d lick their balls (metaphorically).

    They’re scavengers. They are waiting for you to disturb something that they can eat.

    What you and FOD did was a total over-reaction

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  16. TheContrarian (1,043 comments) says:

    “Sharks are beautiful, magnificent creatures, best viewed from behind a thick window of clear acrylic…”

    No no – best viewed from behind a couple steel bars in the open water.

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  17. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Now to stir this up a little…it has become very trendy – in fact almost complusory – to regard great whites, makos, and other potentially man eating sharks as creatures which should be held in awe and protected…but the inconvenient truth is that these “wonderful creatures” frequently attack humans (OK, even if it’s infrequent, that’s one human too many for me)

    I understand that “man eating” sharks like great whites are at the top of the marine food chain. Can someone who actually knows what they are talking about explain to this ignoramus why it matters if we hunt them and severely reduce their numbers as we once did? Won’t the next highest creature on the food chain simply become top dog? If that is so, why does it matter if the top dog is NOT a man eating shark, but some creature harmless to us?

    Geenies telling me how ignorant I am can save their energy….I would simply be most interested in answers to the above questions…again, from someone who knows what they are talking about, i.e a marine biologist or someone similar…

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  18. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    DG – I think the seal population in South Africa would explode, and there’s be bugger all fish left in the sea for us to eat without the sharks controlling the numbers of seals?

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  19. Judith (5,660 comments) says:

    The police had to shoot the shark to make it release the body.

    Were they meant to sit there and watch it enjoy its prey?

    I am all for leaving wildlife alone, however in this case we have a predator that demonstrated its ability to hunt and kill humans. ( I am under no illusion, I do not believe the shark knew they were consuming one of us, but rather just a very big meal)
    Studies indicate that these creatures, as beautiful as they are, remember where their best meal came from.

    Which means he/she will be hanging around waiting for another serving, unless dealt to.
    And what about culture over nature? That family wanted their loved one back, it is important to our culture to have that, and for that reason, the sacrifice of a predator that with all possibility could return and kill again, seems a very small cost.

    Sympathy to the family – what a terrible end to a viable life, and such horrifying memories that will take years to fade.

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  20. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Are you a marine biologist or ecologist RRM?

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  21. cha (3,534 comments) says:

    Cage diving is seen by some as the cause of the increasing number of shark attacks.

    http://www.stopsharkcagediving.com/

    http://www.surfermag.com/features/fishing-for-tragedy/

    http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/science/environment/cage-dives-banned-in-western-australia-1.1338842

    http://www.hawaii.edu/himb/ReefPredator/Shark%20Ecotourism.htm

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  22. rouppe (852 comments) says:

    David, then all you’d do is transfer that fear to the next “top dog”. Maybe mako or hammerhead sharks. Get rid of them then the next top dog…

    Usually there’s a food chain where smaller things get eaten by bigger things. If you take out the predator, then you influence the population control of other animals.

    Lets take seals for example. Their main predator (outside of the Arctic where polar bears are a predator) is the great white. Remove the great white and there aren’t any other major predators. So the population of seals explodes.

    Seals eat fish. So the stocks of fish go down. Humans eat fish. So the fishermen start wanting to kill the seals. And so on we go. All because of an irrational fear that a great white is going to get you every time you dip your toe in the water.

    I have been scuba diving off NZ coastal waters for 12 years. Never seen any sort of shark, let alone a great white. I went diving off Niue. After one dive when I was photographing little critters others said “did you see the hammerhead!?” Never saw it, and it never attacked me (obviously).

    There is more danger of getting chewed up by one of the pitbull dogs that certain people favour than there is of getting chewed up by a great white.

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  23. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    FFS David Garrett!

    I agree that we should be taught to respect wild animals – including to fear them when appropriate (and kill them when they show signs of stalking humans).

    But it’s pretty well documented that you can’t just remove something from an eco-system and not expect conniptions while the new balance is struck. For example, if you remove an apex predator you will see an increase in beta predators and prey. That can have bad effects for humans.

    To take just one example, a decline in shark numbers invariably leads to an increase in Jellyfish swarms. This depletes plankton numbers which disrupts the food chain further. And let’s not forget that jellyfish sting – and kill – swimmers.

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  24. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    “Are you a marine biologist or ecologist RRM?”

    Are you a trained economist? A trained criminologist? A trained theologian?

    Argumentum ad verecundiam.

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  25. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    There are a number of theories about why wild animals seem to be losing their fear of humans – with the resulting increase in attacks.

    Cato, Why do you think a Great White Shark would fear humans ?

    There is nothing abnormal about wild animals attacking humans. They are just another prey item. Humans are not like animals, they are animals.

    Maybe the real problem is humans losing their fear. People are behaving differently, not Sharks.

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  26. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    rouppe: Thanks for that answer, which makes sense ….I guess…

    Cato: I never studied Latin, and even though I am a lawyer – where Latin phrases are not unknown – I regard use of them as utterly pretentious….and you clearly didn’t read my comment very well, in which I admitted not knowing about this stuff, and asked for some sensible comment from someone who knows more than I …you clearly are neither any more knowledgeable than me, nor particularly sensible… but you do know at least one Latin phrase….

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  27. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Kea – “wariness” might be a better word than fear.

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  28. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Garrett – what grated was your questioning of RRM’s conclusion (at variance with yours) – not on the merits – but on the implicit assumption that he is not a marine biologist.

    If both your initial query and subsequent follow up were completely sincere than “mea culpa.”

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  29. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    Make that two Latin phrases…

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  30. flipper (3,269 comments) says:

    When a friend, colleague and surfing competitor is taken by a Great White, as was Leslie Jordon early February 1964 at St Clair beach, Dunedin, then it becomes rather personal.

    When that dipshit Carter was a Minister he brought in regulations “protecting” these rabid creatures. I am happy to say that I have done everying I could to ignore his stupid regulations. A power-head spear is a wonderful equaliser!

    It would be interesting to know how the poor, grief-stricken, Auckland family feel about Carter today. And do not serve me any crap about “their” environment. It is as much ours as theirs and the WPs are the only sharks around NZ and Aust. that cause real problrms.
    So Carter, take your regs to NY and celebrate this “success” with your spiritual leader, Frau Helengrad. :)

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  31. davidp (3,320 comments) says:

    David G>Can someone who actually knows what they are talking about explain to this ignoramus why it matters if we hunt them and severely reduce their numbers as we once did?

    This is the same discussion that people in northern Australia regularly have about crocodiles. In the NT (where I have lived), crocodiles kill about one person each year. Some people want to cull them. The problem is that unless you are confident that you’ve driven crocodiles to extinction, it still won’t be safe to go swimming in a crocodile area like Kakadu. If you only wipe out 99.9% of them then the .1% will still make a meal out of you. The only way to be really safe is to stay out of the water. Or to put it another way, don’t get plastered when you’re near water and impair your judgement to the point you think it is safe to swim.

    Killing crocodiles also seriously impacts tourism and messes up the ecology in some spectacular natural areas.

    Like Rouppe, I’ve been diving in the tropics and seen reef sharks. I’m happy to put up with a miniscule chance of being killed by a shark if I get to experience brightly coloured fish, coral, turtles, and all the other cool stuff you see under the sea.

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  32. Ben (11 comments) says:

    If the seal population gets out of control, throw all the cats in the sea as they will cull the seals down rapidly and possibly Gareth’s penguin.

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  33. TheContrarian (1,043 comments) says:

    @David Garrett

    When we are done with the sharks you can go for the snakes, spiders, Hippos, Rhinos, Cheetahs, and everything else that will potentially kills us and then finally you’ll be free.

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  34. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    flipper: Thanks for that contribution…Again, can anyone who actually knows tell us whether there have been any fatal attacks – or any attacks at all – in NZ by sharks other than Great Whites? Obviously it is impractical as well as undesirable to keep on going down the food chain until we have eliminated all beasts which may menace us…but of course that is not what I suggested in the first place….

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  35. GPT1 (2,042 comments) says:

    DG says “(OK, even if it’s infrequent, that’s one human too many for me)”
    Ironcially this is the logic of the left everytime they want to ban something.

    Sharks live in the sea. Humans just visit.

    By the way a conservative estimate of the score yesterday was 104,000 to 1 against the Sharks.

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  36. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Garrett – yes, the second one (in inverted commas) was clearly a nod to your chagrin at being confronted with common latin loan words. I am sorry that the joke went over your head. I have, like many people, thought that the using the odd, well-established latin phrase can be useful for summing up complex ideas in nice sounding ways – especially when the phrase in question is a term of art with a specific, well known meaning.

    I’ll keep your complex about this in mind “ex nunce” though, by avoiding the use of loan words, phrases and abbreviations “et cetera”.

    Will you be satisfied if we just dump Latin words and phrases like: bona fide; prima facie; i.e.; n.b.; per se; pro rata; vice versa and via. Would you also like to purge all French influence from the language, for “e.g” in lieu and bien pensant?

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  37. Tom Jackson (2,235 comments) says:

    Dave…

    I take it that you don’t know that FOD customarily means “homosexual” (from “Friend Of Dorothy” [i.e. Judy Garland, gay icon]).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friend_of_Dorothy

    NTTAWWT

    [DPF: LOL]

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  38. flipper (3,269 comments) says:

    David G…
    Having done (years ago, and would need to find and extract details) extensive research on this, and had my writings published in many newspapers, I can say: No”.

    But there was a death at Petone circa 1860s (?) and there was one in Napier. The sharks were never identified., Moreover, it was not until the Jordan, Black and Marian Kneightly (Oakura) deaths that we became aware of the Great White danger. Leslie Jordon’s death was the first authenticated shark death in the memory of most people.

    By the way, the Great White is descended from an even bigger, similar creature that would make the Aussie 24 footer look tiny.
    There is a walk -thru, “life size?” mock up in Napier’s Marineland.

    :)

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  39. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    flipper: so…if Great Whites were uncommon around our shores we would pretty much eliminate shark attacks on humans?

    But the “what about the other dangerous predators” faction make a good argument…I know that hammerheads have also been known to attack humans…in fact I think they might be considered even more dangerous…but do great whites feed on them? I suspect – but don’t know, which is why I am asking – that the “man eaters” dont eat each other, but rather much more docile prey, like seals, or chaps in wetsuits that look like them?

    Cato: Mon dieu you are a clever chap! All of those Latin phrases, right on the tip of your tongue! And I bet you could go on demonstrating your knowledge, ad nauseum….

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  40. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    Garrett – now you’re in the spirit!

    In all seriousness though, I think we do well to remember – and occasionally honour – the classical influence upon our society.

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  41. cha (3,534 comments) says:

    A couple of maps recording attack locations but I cant find a list of victims.

    http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/interactive/5334/unprovoked-shark-attacks-in-new-zealand

    http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/sharks/statistics/gattack/MapZE.htm

    And details of attacks around the world.

    http://sharkattacksurvivors.com/

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  42. rouppe (852 comments) says:

    DavidG,

    I still don’t see the point in pursuing this line of thought. If you deeply hold the view that great whites should be culled to protect the 1 in 13 year event of being mauled by a shark, then surely there are bigger fish to fry (pun intended).

    Cars kill 300-odd a year. Ban them? Dogs kill and main dozens a year. Ban them? As Slater has tongue-in-cheek pointed out, cows have killed more than sharks in NZ, so should we ban them? What about those killed in the Carterton balloon crash, one of whom I knew? Ban ballooning because someone ‘might’ die if something goes wrong while we are in an environment not suited to us (open air)? People die from being poisoned by alcohol. Ban alcohol? People have been killed on safari in Africa. Kill all the lions? It’s a nonsense argument.

    It’s a tragedy for the family concerned, but so too for all the families of those killed in all the above examples.

    I (and flipper by the sounds) choose to dive and swim in an environment occupied by deadly predators. I’d hate to die from a shark attack, but I’d also hate to die being run over by a drunk in an SUV on the way home. My opinion is that culling would be more suited to the latter example, not the former.

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  43. flipper (3,269 comments) says:

    David G…
    Hammerheads are moot . Have run into them near the “original” Astrtolabe Reef and Mayor. I know they have been accused in the Carrib and Aus., but in NZ no realky proiblems oif whuch I am aware. Same with Threshers. Bronze Whaers are nervous pussy cats. The Nurse is a dopey gripper rather than a chomper. The Bull is nasty, but they are rare around NZ. The Mako is potentially dangerous, but tends to like deeper water.

    Where to stop? Buggered if I know. I just hate Whites! HND, D

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  44. David Garrett (5,120 comments) says:

    rouppe: Yes, you make good points. But there is something just horribly menacing about sharks! Perhaps it IS watching Jaws too much…. or just that unlike the Big Island, we have nothing else in our seas which menace us…

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  45. GPT1 (2,042 comments) says:

    Sharks are magnificient credators, the ultimate evolution of the predator. They swim in the sea. I swim in a pool. I like it that way.

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  46. mara (639 comments) says:

    Being rendered into mince in the ocean, all alone, great big gnashing teeth with probably enough time to ponder the awfulness of your situation OR die on impact/in coma from a car crash? Still dead in both cases but betcha I know which scenario most people would fear more. DG, your comment at 4.04 was spot on. Jaws did it for me!

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  47. Viking2 (10,713 comments) says:

    David Garrett (3,280) Says:
    February 28th, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    Now to stir this up a little

    A lawyer asking about the place of sharks in society????

    Really DG would have thought you had that sorted.

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  48. KevinH (1,128 comments) says:

    The West Coast of Auckland and the Kaipara Harbour many years ago ( the 60′s ) supported a thriving shark fishing industry where bronze whalers and juvenile great whites were caught for their meat and fins. The flesh was sold in takeaway’s for years and was ubiquitously called lemon fish until some research revealed the high mercury content of the flesh and it’s potential hazard to human life. The fins were sold to wholesalers who exported them to Japan and China.
    The Maori people hunted shark and considered it a delicacy and jealously guarded their favourite fishing spots, for instance the foreshore at Bastion Point was one such spot that Ngati Whatua and Kawerau tribes fought each other for.
    In the mid sixties a huge Bronze Whaler was wreaking havoc on set nets and fisherman in the Kaipara Harbour, so the locals got together and hunted and caught it, it was 5 metres long and weighed in at 2 tons, a genuine Jaws sized shark.

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  49. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Viking2, good point.

    While some are moaning about the Japs taking a few whales, we have some problems closer to home.

    Great Whites are a protected species under NZ law and I am distressed to have just heard a news report that the police are believed to have shot to death one of these magnificent creatures.

    It is an offence and I will be looking to see the prosecution of those concerned. Just as the police would prosecute a member of the public in the same circumstances, along with some firearms offences no doubt.

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2007/0048/latest/DLM427875.html

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  50. flipper (3,269 comments) says:

    Kea..
    You can get stuffed, you dumb Carter-loving fool.

    Go read my first post on this……and, you heartless twerp, send the victim’s family your detailed explanation.

    I hope you never experience what they have…. nor, as I did, with the loss of a close friend.

    I am happy to tell you that before the Carter law was introduced I took pleasure in sending four of those rabid kilkers to the bottom. They all had .303 headaches. Their tooth ache due to my large hooks hardly mattered.

    Given the chance again, I would do it again – Carter crap notwithstanding.

    Perhaps your predatory name IS REALLY APPROPRIATE,

    By the way, I nominate the Police shooter for a medal ……..

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  51. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    flipper, I did not write the law. Don’t blame me. It is not about “Carter” either. There are international treaties protecting the rare animal gunned down by the offender.

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  52. itstricky (1,139 comments) says:

    Liked the story.

    But aren’t your post getting a little narcissistic, given the circumstances, e.g.

    Ewwww…lookie…eight people died in a balloon crash. DID YOU KNOW… I went on that balloon ride once.
    Ewwww…lookie…someone got thrased by a great white. DID YOU KNOW…. I got chased by a shark once.

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