Sunday, July 05, 2015

North Carolina Shark Attacks- Interview with Neil!

Good stuff!
But first, and I cite,
"Scientists believe that most shark bites are a case of mistaken identity. From below, a surfer in a black rubber wetsuit looks a great deal like a seal, for example," explains David Shiffman, a PhD candidate at the University of Miami's Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. 
Really - and if so, who exactly?
Last time I checked, "mistaken identity" was an -incidentally untested and untestable- hypothesis proposed by John McCosker when it came to explaining why GWS attack surfers on surfboards - not some generic statement about any Shark in any situation!
And assuming that David meant "by mistake": is that even plausible considering the Sharks' preternatural senses that we're usually so proud to illustrate? What scientists do believe is that most Shark bites are not predatory in nature - which is only logical considering that the very vast majority of Sharks (like e.g. Caribbean Reefies) pursue prey that is orders of magnitude smaller than people! But there are heaps of other possible reasons, read that first link, for why Sharks could bite people - and genuine mistakes are probably the very last of them! And guess what: in most cases, we'll never know why, exactly, they did strike - which is one thing the majority of scientists will certainly agree upon!
Would this be yet again one of those stupid attempts at rehabilitating Sharks by asserting that they have no bad intentions, or the like?

Which brings me over to this.
It's part of this thread, already mentioned here.
Christopher Neff There is no scientific evidence to support this - Gruber (1987) notes that shark bites are not feeding events
Gruber (1987) huh.
Doc has sent me Gruber (1988), published in Naval Research Review and entitled Why do Sharks attack Humans. Therein I find this - the only possible explanation for it being that Doc did radically change his mind one measly year later! :)
Click for detail!

Whilst the young padawans need to urgently stop making public pronouncements about topics they obviously got no clue about, Neil (and, mostly, Lawrence) shows us how to do it right - especially when you're a scientist!
Enjoy - and well done!

1 comment:

OfficetoOcean said...

Interesting video, thanks for sharing.

Whereas the push behind this campaign comes from a well meaning source, so did the "sharks create oxygen" myth and making statements such as mistaken identity being the primary cause of incidents is wilfully misleading and is pretty easy for anyone with any real knowledge of the subject to dismiss which ultimately, harms the overall message.

The content I've seen, and its delivery, in support of the campaign to remove "attack" from the lexicon has been far from convincing and is simply causing the promotion of misinformation, which is ironic given the enthusiasm one of its key voices has for openly (and very publicly) dismissing and criticising others for.

Don't get me wrong, I agree that the media should be taken to task for the way the majority report shark bite incidents but it should be done using facts and accurate perspective, not smoke and mirrors.