Scientists, Don’t Call Them ‘Shark Attacks’


But bites are extremely rareHe said — globally, there are about 70 to 80 causeless bites and about five deaths a year — and sharks often flee after physical contact with a person.

“The shark attack is a story of intent,” said Christopher Pepin-Neff, a public policy lecturer at the University of Sydney. studied human perceptions of sharks. “But the sharks don’t know what humans are. They don’t know when it’s in the boat. They don’t know what the propeller is. This is not an attack.”

Queensland government in Australia offers guidance to minimize your “risk of adverse encounter with a shark”. Western Australia uses “bite” and “incident” in its warning system, and sometimes “shark interaction”, usually when there is no bite.

Most unprovoked shark bites are reported in the United States, where change in language has begun in earnest over the past 10 years. For example, fish and wildlife officials in California are responsible for injuries, deaths, and “events” for situations where a shark has touched people or their surfboards, canoes or other belongings since about 2017. In Hawaii, authorities have been using “human-shark encounters” for nearly a decade.

a Hawaiian government website notes that “dog bites” are only referred to as “dog attacks” in exceptional circumstances. When asked why a shark attacked someone, Dan Dennison, spokesman for the Department of Land and Natural Resources, said, “My answer is always, ‘We have no idea until we meet the shark.'”

One exception to the rebranding trend is on the Fish and Wildlife Commission website “shark attacksSpokesperson Carly Jones said the commission “had nothing to do with it”.

Whatever term is used, shark scientists stressed that sharks are wild animals and should be treated with caution and respect. The risk of a serious bite is extraordinarily small – people more likely to die Bee stings, sunstroke or bike accident – ​​but shark bites can cause devastating damage.


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