January 13, 2009

White Pointer Sharks Attack in Australia

White pointer sharks are making their presence known around Australia. The white pointer shark, also known as the great white, has been blamed for three attacks on the heels of a fatal assault around Perth, so reports the latest issue of "Jaunted", a publication of The New Yorker.

In their article, "Australia Looking Out For White Pointer Sharks," "Jaunted" reports that the three attacks were non-fatal and were spread around the great Island of Australia including the tidal Lake Illawarra, New South Wales; also an attack occurred near Fringel Head which also is in New South Wales. Finally, the third white pointer shark attack occurring within a 48-hour period was reported in Binalong Bay in Tasmania.

As the article goes on to report, The Florida Museum of Natural History has tracked only 71 "un-provoked attacks" in 2007 worldwide and 32 of those happened in Florida.

In a related article, a 13-year-old girl was one of the three victims reported. She was attacked but because of her swimming skills was able to escape and was brought to shore by a friend. She was surfing. They are still searching for the shark.

Sharks swarm the Florida coast. I have linked to a video that shows Lemon Sharks hovering around the coast, over 200.

Of course the great white came to public attention from the popularity of the movie "Jaws" back in 1975. From that time people have been more aware of the existence of sharks even though there are so few shark attacks.

The reason that most sharks do attack is that they see a person that reminds them of natural prey. A good example would be a person on a surfboard who is paddling. They would look like a seal to a shark.

In the articles the comment is made that sharks are infiltrating Australia. I'm not sure that a few isolated attacks warrants the phrase "infiltration.

Sharks swim in less than three feet of water in Florida waters in and around swimmers without attacking.

This would lend credence to the concept that sharks, including white pointer sharks, rarely attack unless they think they are going to eat their normal prey.

Source: Associated Content

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