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Snorkeler Killed by Sharks in the Bahamas

Discussion in 'Snorkeling / Freediving' started by CuzzA, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. muzikbiz22

    muzikbiz22 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Southern California
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    Every time the ol' "shark behaviour" topic comes up, I refer to this video and the good doctor Neil Hammreschlag,
     
    AfterDark likes this.
  2. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Rhode Island, USA
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    Maybe one never knows, but that would have been the problem, sounds to me like she needed more than one tourniquet, more than a few bandages. I'm not a corpsmen or and EMT the bag is for someone with A gunshot wound, heart attack, breathing issues, A deep cut maybe two, not what I read happen that day.
     
  3. Joneill

    Joneill Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Jersey, USA
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    But that says nothing about feeding not changing behavior towards divers - just that it does not appear to change how far and where they range...
     
    Fastmarc and chillyinCanada like this.
  4. Fastmarc

    Fastmarc Just drifting along... ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Kingston, Jamaica
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    Exactly what I thought when I watched it, so not sure why it's the go to video for refuting the possibility.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  5. HalcyonDaze

    HalcyonDaze Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Miami
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    Animal behavior in general and wild animal behavior in particular are hard subjects. You have to design a study where you can collect quantifiable data under a controlled set of parameters repeatedly and then have a means to analyze it for statistical significance. That's one thing with a lab rat in a controlled maze and quite another thing in the great outdoors.

    How exactly would one quantify if behavior towards divers changes? We seem to have some posters on here who are convinced that if you are spearfishing and have a stringer full of fish on you, that is insufficient incentive for a shark (even a large one that regularly takes prey the size of a human like a tiger or bull) to approach. A look through shark encounters going back through the decades, long before baited shark dives were a thing, shows that no, spearfishing has always been a pretty good way to get sharks interested in you. Likewise, sharks have bitten people who weren't spearfishing down through the ages; there's a rather famous painting in the National Gallery of Art of a 1749 attack by what was believed to be a tiger shark on a British cabin boy swimming in Havana harbor (said cabin boy survived minus a leg and eventually became Lord Mayor of London).

    Reading and evaluating scientific papers is quite frankly a beast, and even for someone who used to dabble in it a bit it's not particularly fun or intuitive. There's also the matter of getting your hands on the things; academic publishing is possibly one of the more exploitative rackets on the planet both for scientists publishing research and those trying to read it (see here: Open Access Explained!).

    There's also the aforementioned difficulties in designing a study to actually quantify effects on behavior. Therefore there's not a huge number of studies out there (and with advances in technical methods the more dated ones may be of limited utility), not all of them are easy to find, and the raw publication is not easy for the layperson to interpret. So the ones that are openly available get brought up repeatedly (the Clua et al. publication referenced earlier also comes up a lot), and if you can boil it down to a four-minute YouTube synopsis that makes it go even farther. For reference, this is the full text of the paper discussed in that video: https://sharkresearch.rsmas.miami.e...her_Wester_Luo_Ault.-2012_Functional-Ecol.pdf

    Movement patterns get used because you can look at a number of sharks in both control and experimental groups, and it's logical to assume that a shark which has become accustomed to exploiting a regular, easily obtained food source will alter its movement patterns to minimize its energy expenditure. If a shark encounters divers bearing gifts at a particular spot and behaving in a particular manner while doing so, it has no reason to assume it will find the same food source somewhere else. This is actually a pretty good interview here that covers the topic in part; I've always found the bit about predation on albatross fledglings particularly interesting: What We've Learned About Tiger Sharks in Hawaii

    My personal take? At present I don't think it's an absolute, yes-or-no issue where either these sharks are like goldfish and forget about being fed 30 minutes later or they're going to roll every human they come across for a handout whether there's food or not. I do think there are behavioral effects (mostly increased tolerance for being handled), but that they don't present a hazard to divers not participating in a feeding event (and that's just par for the course being in proximity to sharks and bait). I will be very interested to see what comes out of this work currently being done with great hammerheads in Bimini: Dive tourism dynamics | Save Our Seas Magazine
     
    chillyinCanada and tarponchik like this.
  6. Joneill

    Joneill Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Jersey, USA
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    In my opinion, there is no benefit to shark feeding. It is only done to lure sharks in so divers can see them and is motivated by selfish interests of divers/dive ops. It is unnatural behavior and nothing good can really come come from it. I prefer to see my sharks by chance in their natural, un-lured environment!
     

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