G is for Great White Shark

Summer has hit us here in sunny Western Australia and it is getting hot, hot, hot!  With summer, comes more time at the beach, swimming in the surf and stories of…SHARKS!  As soon as you hear the helicopters overhead, you know a shark has been spotted, somewhere along our glorious coastline. Inevitably the talkback radio peeps starting telling stories of shark attacks, everyone know someone who almost get attacked or had a close encounter of the shark kind.

Lately the question being asked is, are shark attacks on the rise? Should we be more worried swimming in the ocean, should we let out children swim in the ocean, become a nipper (that’s a junior lifesaver for all my non-Aussie readers and friends)?

This fear is fed by images of Jaws (remember how terrifying that movie was), angry-looking sharks circling divers and swimmers, shark feeding frenzies, the cold calculating sharky eyes… The list goes on!

Is is a rational fear though? For me the answer is simple.

No, it is not.

You are swimming in the ocean, where sharks live, so of course there will always be sharks. Is one going to try to eat you? Probably not. There are some weird and wonderful facts about this, and you have more chance of dying on the toilet or being in an accident on the road (Quirky cool stats from here). Sharks are actually becoming endangered world-wide because they are being hunted and the ocean is under all kinds of new stresses. 

So today, G is for Great White Sharks, respect these grand beasts of the oceans, and cut them some slack! The ocean is their space, and they have just as much right to be on the planet as we do.  Don’t get all Vic Hislop about it, embrace your inner David Attenborough and give the big guys some respect.

Enjoy xx

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