Saturday, July 19, 2008


The advocacy group The Shark Project holds a Photo Award. Here is the teaser:

I noticed that the workflow is missing some important steps (especially considering the subject) and I couldn't resist to fill in the gap:

But reality is not that funny. Those fierce insatiable predators are unstoppable and claim increasingly more lives every year. I am talking about humans. The shark elimination rate is astonishing. It is hard to believe the statistics but apparently from 38 to 200 million(!) sharks are being killed annually. These numbers are beyond any comprehension: it is like losing the entire US population in a single year, Canada - in two months or having World War II occur every quarter.

The fear and loathing are understandable - we are challenged outside of our natural habitat. Unless you are a Navy Seal, it is not really fair game. A bear is much more dangerous but we more or less understand our own land creatures, so we can put up with the necessity to stay away from their ground. If we ended up in the Amazonian jungle or in the Kenyan savannah in their better days, our chances of survival would be slimmer than us going into shark infested waters, but who wants to eliminate rainforest? We are so easily influenced by the media, that despite the fact that sharks are an important part of the ecosystem, the though of protecting them is somehow unsettling. Saving bears is OK, but not sharks? What do we think of the guy who got injured after approaching a lion pride or she-bear with a cub? A dumb schmuck! But we would call that a scuba diver attacked by a shark, he is always a victim, because most of the time sharks dare to interrupt our holiest activity - the entertainment. If sharks are a part of the thrill, one should be ready for what comes of it.

According to the Australian Museum (Australia could win a "shark country" contest with her eyes closed) the human death toll from 1980-1990 was based on the following reasons:

Activity Total Deaths Average/Year
Crocodile Attacks 8 *** 0.7
Shark Attacks 11 ** 1
Lightning Strikes 19 * 1.7
Bee Stings 20 * 1.8
Scuba Diving Accidents 88 **** 8
Drowning/Submersions 3367 * 306
Motor Vehicle Accidents 32772 * 2979

* from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra
** from John West, Shark Attack File, Taronga Zoo, Sydney
*** from Dr Graham Webb, Darwin
****from Dr Doug Walker, Operation Sticky Beak, Sydney

Following this logic, we had hunt down Ford executives! Compared to the 60 attacks per year (with less than 10 fatal), sharks are taking casualties of 3 500 000 to 1.

Nature is a smart beast - this improbable survival despite the fierce genocide shows that life, uh... finds a way. We may be surprised one day, and not pleasantly.


Chris Barrow said...

We are pitiful excuse for an intelligent species when are only course of action is to kill. We kill or maim what we do not understand. It is in our very nature to do so. This instinct is an evolutionary leftover if you will.

Michael Goldobin said...

... or a mankind is just an ultimate evolutionary challenge, overcoming which will help to emerge the true King of Nature.
Imagine if it will be penguins.

I should stop smoking this shit right now.

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