Wednesday, December 31, 2008

On shark attacks

I've said before, and I'll doubtless say again, that its a simple truth that sometimes, very rarely, certain species of sharks eat people. Whether it is a case of mistaken identity (for a seal or turtle) or a shark deliberately picking off shipwreck survivors is really irrelevant. Sharks can, sometimes, very rarely in fact, eat people. Having travelled the world on holidays over the last 8 years trying to take photographs, like the one below, and see sharks; big and small, dangerous and not dangerous, I've had perhaps more time to ponder that than most people.


Brian Guest wrote the following on the Western Angler website forum in 2004:
"I have always had an understanding with my wife that if a shark or ocean accident caused my death then so be it, at least it was doing what I wanted. Every surfer, fisherman and diver has far more chance of being killed by bees, drunk drivers, teenage car thieves and lightning. Every death is a tragedy – regardless of the cause – but we have no greater claim to use of this earth than any of the other creatures [we] share it with."
Brian Guest was taken by a white shark in Australia last week. His words above are reflective of a new and keen understanding of man's place in the world and the best respect we can pay people like Brian is to honour their sentiments rather than going out into the water on shark-killing crusades. His son apparently viewed his father's death as a random event that should not make people fear the ocean, and when asked if he would go back into the sea responded "When I'm ready … I'll do that."

I hope that if I should be the unlucky one in a million who shares Brian's fate my family will show the same level of understanding as Brian's, know that I was doing what I loved and go back into the water.


Floridacracker said...

Well said. Sorry for the loss of someone with the right outlook.
Outstanding photo.

JJ said...

Agreed. I wish more people would acknowledge and respect that when we enter other animals' habitat we play by their rules. Because it's more familiar to me, my particular bugbear is people shooting bears and wolves in the Rockies because the ranchers are the idiots encroaching on the bears' and wolves' habitat by shoving their nice juicy walking steaks on their land.

tai haku said...

Thanks both for your wise words.