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"Shark Week - Chumming Associates Food With Humans?" Topic

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360 hits since 27 Jul 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2017 12:46 p.m. PST

On a Discovery Channel Shark Week show last night, a marine biologist admitted that the sharks now show up before they even start throwing chum in the water, simply by the sound of a boat's motor. And he has been studying sharks all over the world for 27 years and noticing this all over.

Yet he says that what biologists learn about the shark in each dive is invaluable and worth the habituation. Does anyone else have a little bit of a problem with that mindset?

PS. Aren't these the same geniuses who tell people not to feed crocs and alligators because all that does is associate food with people, which creates the perfect recipe for an attack later on an innocent human?


Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2017 3:15 p.m. PST

Yes. It's Shark Week again! Can you believe it's already been that long? :)


Mithmee Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2017 4:38 p.m. PST

Why I stay on land.

Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2017 5:38 p.m. PST

Time for Comet TV to run "Avalanche Sharks" again.

jdginaz27 Jul 2017 10:13 p.m. PST

Come on, don't you know as long as it's for science it doesn't matter the latter consequences

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP28 Jul 2017 12:01 p.m. PST

Crocks and Gaitors live among humans.
Sharks don't.

Sharks associating a big boat in the middle of the ocean with food doesn't translate to them thinking swimmers on a beach is food.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP28 Jul 2017 1:09 p.m. PST

People often think of the environment as static, and we even try to keep it that way despite Nature's tendency to change things up.

For example, sharks existed long before pinnipeds and other marine mammals, and yet at some point their feeding habits changed because there was something new in their environment. They didn't seem to have a problem adjusting to the easier prey item. I have a feeling they will adapt to the decrease in marine mammals and the arrival of new items in their place.

Besides, many of the species known to have attacked and consumed humans (beyond just the "exploratory" bite of a curious or confused shark) generally feed on anything but marine mammals. Fish, sea turtles, cephalopods, sea birds, etc is most of what they eat. And yet they often congregate at river mouths after storms and near the spots where slaughterhouses (like the case of Recife, Brazil) spill the blood and other bits from the cattle they process and do so at regularly scheduled times. In other words sharks have no problem including cattle and other land mammals in their diet, even though those animals hardly ever venture into the ocean and don't have the blubber of marine mammals.

I just happen to give sharks a little more credit than most, when it comes to adapting to new potential prey items that suddenly show up in their environment.

PS. The case of the USS Indianapolis in 1945 is a perfect example of Pacific pelagic sharks that hardly ever frequent coasts suddenly taking advantage of a large number of humans dropping into their environment, and even associating the sound of torpedoes with a potential meal.

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP29 Jul 2017 7:20 p.m. PST

I like sharks as much as the next guy, but the "Shark Week" frenzy just escapes me.

I'd like to see a little more conservancy for sharks addressed. About a third of all oceanic sharks are endangered (about 64 species involving all the sharks we casually know). It is estimated that upwards of 200 million sharks (!) are killed annually so that Asians can have shark fin soup.

Some other challenges to their survival are presented here:


Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP29 Jul 2017 10:29 p.m. PST

So much unnecessary waste and unjustified pain and suffering.

I could understand eating the entire animal, for human or pet food even, but the idea of dumping 90% of the animal back in the water while it's still alive, to die by drowning is absolutely revolting.

It's a blatant mistreatment of resources that speaks volumes about the mentality of those who procure and consume the damn fins.


Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP30 Jul 2017 8:06 a.m. PST

Bowman: "I like sharks as much as the next guy, but the "Shark Week" frenzy just escapes me"

I would be equally thrilled if they also had a 'Cephalopod Week'! They are truly fascinating suckers, pardon the pun. :)


Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2017 7:49 a.m. PST

I'm with you, Dan.

I like shows on sharks……and cephalopods for that matter. But the marketing hype for a whole week of stupid shows is beyond me. I know it's a ratings boon. Again, I hope they do a little bit about the plight of the sharks so our grandchildren, and their children can enjoy shark week too.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP31 Jul 2017 8:57 a.m. PST

Even if all our conservation efforts in most of the world's territorial waters are a success, sharks will continue to dwindle if the shark fin soup tradition isn't stopped in China.

Their government apparently has no interest in doing anything meaningful about the practice. If it was about feeding a hungry population the entire shark would be put to use, not just the fins. Besides, the government is more interested in its own aggressive territorial expansion projects, like building and arming artificial islands, which hasn't stopped or even slowed down one bit despite all the diplomatic talks, threats or sanctions.

And once they completely wipe out the sharks in their current fishing grounds, the harvesting vessels will simply expand their searches into new international waters were they can still get fins.

A disgustingly wasteful mentality is at work there.

PS. By the way, is this the first time you and I have ever agreed on something? :)

Personal logo Bowman Supporting Member of TMP01 Aug 2017 5:06 a.m. PST

Their government apparently has no interest in doing anything meaningful about the practice. If it was about feeding a hungry population the entire shark would be put to use, not just the fins.

Shark fins are an expensive delicacy. I would doubt that the average Chinese citizen would be eating this. The upper classes. the diplomats and the power brokers that would be needed for any change in Chinese policy are exactly those that have the means to eat this delicacy, and do so. That's the problem in a nutshell.

And then there is the lunacy of traditional "Chinese medicine". Just Google "bear bile" and "bear gall bladders" for more of that. It even affects us in Canada. And not to single out mainland China, ……..both Korea and Japan are complicit in this affair.



Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP01 Aug 2017 7:04 a.m. PST

"Lunacy" is too kind a word for this foul perversion.


Charlie 12 Inactive Member01 Aug 2017 7:11 p.m. PST

And you can add to the above list the absurd fascination with rhinoceros horn. Which has driven more than a few of the species to the brink of extinction.

Full agreement Dan. "Lunacy" is too kind a word…

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2017 1:37 a.m. PST

Well said, Charlie 12. Well said indeed!

Guess what? I just heard Craig Ferguson agree with me about the sharks getting used to people feeding them.

Warning language not safe for work:

YouTube link


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