Shark Attack Risk

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,797
    Safety Expert Scott Konger discusses shark attack risk.

    Scott Konger: Hello! My name is Scott Konger and I am the owner of the Tarpon Springs Aquarium. Now we are going to discuss how much risks there are in getting attacked by a shark.

    The shark that's responsible of more attacks than any other species would be the Bull sharks. In Florida, typically every year at least leads the world in the number of attacks. Primarily, along the Southern East Coast, there is a large population of bull sharks and they will bite surfers and swimmers. Now usually it's mistaken. In the case when they are hunting for fish along the surface and they accidentally bite somebody thinking that their foot or arm might be a fish and immediately they let go, but they can do some sever damage with the razor-sharp teeth. So they are to be considered the most dangerous, because they probably cause more bites on people than all of the shark species combined.

    The least dangerous is probably going to be the largest of all the sharks, and that's the whale shark and that's because they are plankton feeder, feeding on the smallest animals in the ocean and they really don't even have teeth and they just kind of filter the water through their mouth as they filter out the plankton from the water and though. They are considered extremely docile.

    Other non-dangerous species would be probably like smaller ones like catsharks and carpet sharks and they are kind of a little reef dwellers. They don't get very large. So there this potential is not very great, because of their small size.

    Another shark that can be dangerous though, normally, probably, considered docile would be a nurse shark. They cause more injuries to scuba divers and snorkelers than all of the shark species combined and that's because of their nocturnal behavior. They're usually active after dark and during the day time, they usually set on the bottom preferably near a reef or cave somewhere in the reef. When we are diving, we often will see these guys and we see a small nurse shark and divers sometimes make the mistake of thinking they are docile and they won't hurt them. They go up there and decide to try to pat one of these resting sharks or sleeping sharks on the bottom. If the shark feels startled, they do bite, and they do have teeth and they have a nasty habit of hanging on when they grab a hold of you.

    You are most likely to get attacked by a shark at the beach. Of course, as statistics show that's where most attacks occur. There are about 35 attacks a year here along the coast of Florida which leads the world each year and that's probably several hundred worldwide. Of course, that's where people are located. So more people swim and surf or scuba dive. So that's where it's mostly likely a shark to encounter a person. Therefore, that's where most attack occurs.

    Divers are very rarely attacked. Typically, when we scuba dive or searching for at least somewhat clear water, the shark is usually well aware of our presence and able to see us well, and therefore it does not come in and make a mistake and accidentally bite us thinking we are some other type of prey. Usually, when you are scuba diving, you rarely see a shark and that's because they are usually long gone before we are aware they are even around. So even though they know we are in the water, we don't know they are around, which is probably a good thing in most cases.