Shark Attack in Australia… Again!

A man has been attacked by a shark off Western Australia’s Gascoyne coast on Tuesday afternoon The attack occurred while he was surfing at Red Bluff near Quobba Station, 70 kilometres north of Carnarvon. The break is about 1,000 kilometres north of Perth.

The 34-year-old man received serious injuries but was conscious when he was brought ashore. The Department of Fisheries says the shark bit the surfer on the abdomen and as he tried to fend it off he was then mauled on the arm.

Rebecca Caldwell’s children were in the water when they noticed the man was injured, but she says they did not see the shark.

“The water was full of blood,” she said.

“He was conscious the whole way back though he was OK, he was good.

“He’s in good spirits, as well as he could be.”

Carnarvon Shire chief executive Maurice Battilana says the beach has since been closed. He has told the ABC it is in a remote area that is very popular with tourists.

“Extremely popular surfing and camping spot and we’re probably in the peak season, very popular surfing spot,” he said.

Police and the St John Ambulance were sent to the location and the man has been taken to Carnarvon Hospital. The Royal Flying Doctor Service is flying its crew from Meekatharra to Carnarvon and they will then fly the man to Perth for treatment. The RFDS says the man has serious injuries to his right arm and is in a stable condition.

There have been five fatal shark attacks in less than a year off WA’s coast.

[source]

4 thoughts on “Shark Attack in Australia… Again!

  1. drudown

    Some marine biologist of alleged repute recently said: “I am the first to say sharks don’t see us as food. However they can be dangerous to us.”

    Is that so?

    Namely, notwithstanding the obvious danger of being consumed by these predatory fishes, why are sharks dangerous to us?

    If sharks can be dangerous to us, is it not because they are going to eat us? Tell me, does it matter whether I eat all or 1/2 or 1/4 of my sandwich? Consumption is consumption, is it not?

    Now then.

    I realize a Whale shark’s tail could injure somebody or, of course, a nurse shark or carpet shark could bite your leg and not let go. Correct me if I am wrong, but those sharks are not considered “dangerous” to humanity. Do we know this or don’t we?

    Tigers, Bulls, Oceanic White Tips, and Great Whites are generalist feeders. All have been observed preying on human beings. Human remains have been recovered in all of them. Not just this year but every year.

    1) True or False: A shark is not dangerous to a human being who is walking on a beach.

    2) True or False: A human being who is swimming in the ocean is part of a marine ecosystem.

    3) True or False: A shark is an apex predator in the marine ecosystem.

    I think we all agree all these are true.

    Tell me, why is a Tiger shark dangerous to a swimmer? Because it is going to engage in rough play like that pesky Pilot Whale (or the “amorous” Dolphin Pervert in the Cayman Islands) and take the swimmer down in the depths, possibly drowning him or her? No. That is not a real risk a Tiger shark presents. So what is it? Well, I think we all agree it is the teeth and jaws–er, that a Tiger shark will bite you.

    Ok.

    Let us qualify the word “bite.” A parrot or dog may bite someone. Notably, many “experts” seem to argue “gee, even man’s best friend can be dangerous to us.”

    Ok.

    I will accept that as true. Most animals, wild or domesticated, can inflict some kind of harm. However, the forseeability of harm from a german shepard bite and a Great White bite are not comparable. In fact, the two jaws were designed for different things according to each’s ecological niche.

    The dog is obviously a direct descendant of the Grey Wolf. As with African wild dogs, the canine jaws are superbly adapted to hold and tug. I have seen wild dogs literally rip a small gazelle in two. But if a dog nites a person, it is usually a response that has been bred into the dog for security purposes, i.e., the german shepard has been selectively bred to bite intruders. Even kill intruders with these bites. It happens.

    “Bit happens”

    (sorry, couldn’t resist)

    With sharks, however, it is different. The aforementioned sharks (including, but not limited to those specified above) are not “biting” people to protect a territory, as they are nomadic and do not render maternal care- so they unequivocally do NOT display this sort of observable behavior seen in, say, Estuarine Crocodiles. Sharks bite off limbs and swim off on their merry way, saving their denticled skin for another day.

    And yet, although White sharks seem to congregate in the same hunting channels, often times one can find several white sharks (juvenile or mature, depending on the area– e.g., Dyer Island v. Farralons) at a single kill. However, one does not see an intense “territorial” behavior vis’a’vis these sharks. Nor do these sharks aggressively attack other marine life that is attracted to the kill or passing by. It just doesn’t exist and there is thus no evidence whatsoever to support a “territorial” response explanation to a shark biting a human being. Despite this absence of evidence, these bogus theory resurfaces, like White sharks off the coast of Perth.

    Excluding all cases of “mouthing” behavior or investigatory bites where no flesh is removed, sharks take chunks of flesh off of human swimmers. Often times whole limbs are removed. This obviously presents an imminent danger of death by blood loss to a human victim of a shark attack. Other times a human swimmer is eaten whole.

    (gulp.)

    Now then.

    Tell me, how can one credibly argue or even suggest that human beings that are attacked by sharks are not “seen as food” by the sharks who eat them? That is non sequitur. If a bunny is run over by a car, one cannot say that bunnies don’t see cars as threats even though they run from them in order to avoid being run over. Why should we conclude that when people rush to get out of the water when a large shark is circling that the shark is not circling out of predatory interest? Everything, I’m afraid, depends on that.

    Conspicuously, sharks don’t do anything other than hunt and eat things. When sharks are drawn to a commotion, it is because they are looking for a feeding opportunity. That is why sharks are justly said to be “opportunistic” predators. Without question, if a bleeding WWII sailor is floating out at sea, the oceanic white tip “sees” the human swimmer as food. Now, I know many of you are saying, “yeah no @#%$, drudown, it just ate both his legs off. I think we can say it saw him as food.”

    But let’s back up. A jogger outside of Anchorage could get mauled to death by a bear “protecting” a moose kill- and, despite the predatory intent, the act lacked the same predatory motive that sharks live by…at least in said instance.

    Now then.

    The oceanic white tip’s ecological niche is to eat all injured (or even dead) marine creatures in the open ocean. When it smells blood and/or detects commotion, it is drawn to the scene by a feeding opportunity. If it is a bird, seal, whale, human– or even a dog– does it change the shark’s intentions? Obviously, no.

    Does the shark discharge its predatory function the same? Yes. Is the methodology always the same? No. Surely a shark might be more cautious in feeding on a dying Right Whale than a injured pelican. Does it matter in terms of evaluating the shark from a sociobiological perspective? There is no reason why it should.

    That is the issue. And although it “bumps” into any learned mind like a shark in the night, people- even experts- choose to blind, as if born without sight.

    Poor little underwater pilgrim limb just got scalped.

    Why should sociobiology give any credence to human distinctions people arbitrarily try to create? Stated differently, the fact that a shark only bites off a couple bites of whale blubber does not mean sharks don’t see whales as food.

    Uh, hello.

    Sharks see everything as food. Even their young can be as tempting to them as the Orca yearns and oceans churn red in their struggle to rip out baby Gray whale tongue.

    If you think we are this “exception,” articulate a theory as to why (even how) a shark would not see a human swimmer as food.

    And no, saying “well, if they did see us as food, there’d be more attacks” or “because they don’t eat the whole body in most instances” does not answer the question presented.

    One has to address the issue of why a perfectly edible human body is not seen as food by a creature that has always been known to eat us.

    I have always been perplexed by people’s assertion that sharks do not see us as food.

    Maybe I’m missing something.

    “Like, Lloyd Skinner?”

    The White shark at Fish Hoek swims away with all he once was, satisfied with its early dinner.

    Reply
  2. waz

    Dru…its been a while. I concur. Count on more and more attacks as the opportunities to feed on easy food sources increase. Humans do represent a miniscual portion of available food in the ocean, within small pockets and not always freely available.

    Reply

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