Scientists have figured out how surfers help save sharks

(ORDO NEWS) — Sharks have had a difficult relationship with humans since ancient times, but now many species of these fish are on the verge of extinction, so they cannot survive without human support.

However, these predators have a bad reputation among people, especially those who do not deal with live fish. But what do surfers think of dangerous neighbors, who regularly spot their sinister fins in the waves?

Sharks are perhaps the most infamous among marine life: the films “Jaws” , “Open Sea” , “The Blue Abyss” – they all cultivate in the audience a deep fear of these toothy predators. So programs to save and protect sharks almost do not resonate with the public.

Meanwhile, the state of populations of many species of sharks, including the famous white shark , leaves much to be desired: their total number is only a few thousand individuals, and without a strict ban on shooting and trapping, these magnificent marine animals are doomed to extinction.

To change the situation, first of all, we will have to overcome the negative attitude of the inhabitants towards sharks, to prove that people and sharks can quite get along on the same planet. And, it seems, the first to understand this were the surfers.

Researchers from the University of South Australia found that polling 391 surfers from 24 countries (mostly Americans), about half of them had at least once seen a shark while surfing, but only 17 percent said that either they or someone they knew bitten by a shark.

Moreover, 60 percent admitted that they are not afraid of these animals in principle, and another 44 percent said that even the appearance of a predatory fish near the shore will not stop them from diving into the water.

It is curious that, despite the “bloody” reputation, the ratio of shark victims and human victims is incomparable: less than ten people around the world die every year from the bites of these fish (for comparison, about 236 thousand people drown every year), but people “in answer” destroy up to 100 thousand sharks, and already a quarter of their species are on the verge of extinction.

Scientists believe that most of these killings are not justified: this is a real act of ignorant aggression, and it takes a lot of effort to work with the public so that the terrible image of sharks fostered by Hollywood is finally destroyed.

Perhaps the attitude of surfers will play a significant role in the “turning point”: nevertheless, these people interact with sharks more often than others, and other people should learn from them how, by invading a different habitat, not to harm its original owners.

Perhaps in the future a person will learn how to behave properly in a strange house, and then the “main victims” of Hollywood blockbusters – divers, surfers and ordinary vacationers – will be able to swim peacefully side by side with magnificent predatory fish going about their business.


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