Sharky shark sharks. The source of so much controversy these days and so misunderstood!
Following Mick Fanning’s fisticuffs with a shark in this year’s J-Bay final, questions regarding the peaceful coexistence of surfers and sharks are more pertinent than ever. How to deal with shark attacks, whether it be drum lines, nets, electromagnetic devices or investing in more scientific monitoring and research is a complicated and touchy political matter, but the bottom line for surfers is that big predatory fish and surfing don’t go together well — in particular the great white, tiger and bull shark, whom out of more than 480 shark species are responsible for the majority of fatal unprovoked attacks on humans. So we figured we’d take a look at some of the sharkier surf regions to host such species.
From a quick glance at the International Shark Attack File, the number of reported attacks per year over the last decade has remained more or less stable, ranging between 60 to 80 year – strange when you consider the total number of beachgoers on the planet today, but then the number of sharks has dramatically decreased. (Environmental activists Sea Shepherd estimate 100 million sharks are killed by humans every year; to put that in perspective, that’s roughly 15 million sharks for every human killed by a shark.) Nevertheless, you’d still do well to know a little about the following hot spots, listed here (very roughly) in reverse order of sharkiness…