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Shark Science

Great White Sharks Making Comeback Off Atlantic Coast 107

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-when-you-thought-it-was-safe-to-go-back-in-the-water dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A report that scientists are calling one of the most comprehensive studies of great white sharks finds their numbers are surging in the ocean off the Eastern U.S. and Canada after decades of decline — bad news if you're a seal, but something experts say shouldn't instill fear. The scientists behind the study attribute the resurgence to conservation efforts, such as a federal 1997 act that prevented hunting of great whites, and greater availability of prey. The species is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature."
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Great White Sharks Making Comeback Off Atlantic Coast

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  • Upgrades (Score:2, Redundant)

    by TitusC3v5 (608284)
    I'm happy to see that my laser upgrades have helped to greatly facilitate the mating process. Onwards to step 2!
  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Monday June 23, 2014 @05:26AM (#47296675)

    Pass the soup!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I think you mean "Fintastic news!"

      I'll be here all week, don't forget to tip your waitress.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We're gonna need a bigger laser.

  • Food chain (Score:4, Funny)

    by penix1 (722987) on Monday June 23, 2014 @05:30AM (#47296687) Homepage

    This is one of the many reasons I don't go anywhere near the ocean. It is a food chain out there and I don't need to be the weakest link.... GOODBYE!

    • You do know that statistically you're more likely to die of bee stings than from a shark, right? I'd have to check but I think it's even more likely you'll die from a lightning strike. So you'd better be safe and never leave your house again.

      Seriously...that's a really silly attitude based in ignorance. Now, I don't care if you ever go in the ocean, but your reasoning so flawed it's almost funny.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        OTOH the statistics is only valid as long as I don't increase my exposure to the sea. If I was constantly swimming in shark waters I suspect that the risk of me being killed by bees decreases dramatically.

      • Now, I don't care if you ever go in the ocean, but your reasoning so flawed it's almost funny.

        Lighten up. It was clearly suppose to be funny

      • ...more likely to die of bee stings than from a shark

        Sure. We'll even go with the bee metaphor even though the humble mosquito kills more humans than even humans do.

        Here's the thing. People do panic and behave irrationally around bees... especially if they're predisposed to an allergic reaction.

        An irrational fear of a dangerous animal is a survival tool. On the one hand, it makes it much easier to kill since there is no room for empathy in the fear-paralyzed mind. On the other hand, there's The Grizzly Man.

        • by tsa (15680)

          Irrational fear is not a survival tool. It's a way to get you killed more easily by the thing you fear. Irrational fear makes you panic, and panic makes you do the wrong things, like running away from predators or trying to swat bees with your hands, making them angry and much more likely to sting you.

          • Mmmmm...perhaps. The instinctive fear that is our fight or flight response is ingrained in humanity's DNA on some primal level, plausibly because it contributes to an individual's survival to breeding age.

            Like a kitten who's never seen a dog, we seem to have a predisposed aversion to certain dangerous animals: shark, grizzly, bee, snake. Is instinctive fear irrational? It is often not well considered or based on any documented evidence. Conquering your animal fear is a noble goal, but the same could be sai

            • by tsa (15680)

              I agree with all you say. So much so even that I'm beginning to wonder if you meant to reply to me or the person I replied to.
              Instinctive fear is of course not in itself irrational, but some people have their instinctive fear tuned up so high, so to speak, that they can't be in the same room with a harmless spider. That is irrational even when it's not yet a fobia.

      • You do know that statistically you're more likely to die of bee stings than from a shark, right?

        Wrong.

        If you're allergic to bee stings, you're far more likely to die from a bee sting than statistics indicate. If you aren't allergic to be stings, you're far less likely to die from a bee sting than statistics indicate.

        Statistics based on the population as a whole do not represent the actual chances for a specific individual to die in a specific way. Individual behavior and risk factors tend to average out over a large population and can be ignored, but they can't be ignored when speaking about a singl

        • by swb (14022)

          I wonder if the "more likely to die" statistics between bees and sharks take into the respective populations place of residence.

          People who live within NN miles of the ocean would be more likely to swim in the ocean, people like me thousands of miles would almost never have a chance to swim in the ocean.

          Bees, however, are everywhere.

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            Bees, however, are everywhere.

            Increasingly, less so [wikipedia.org].

            • by swb (14022)

              I would imagine that "bee stings" is a generic term that also includes stings from wasps and hornets.

              As for colony collapse, an economic analysis concludes that it's somewhat overblown.

              http://perc.org/sites/default/... [perc.org]

              • by Anonymous Coward

                Like economists know anything.

                Scientists and beekeepers disagree.

                Economists are idiots, plying a fake science, which boils down to ideology. There is nothing real, objective, or scientific about economics.

              • by Copid (137416)
                Overblown as in, "not really happening to the extent we thought," or overblown as in, "Well, fuck the bees. We don't need 'em anyway"?
                • by Richy_T (111409)

                  Overblown as in "We can always eat Soylent Green in our concrete wasteland" I think.

        • The bitch of it is... I'm totally allergic to great white attacks.
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        You do know that statistically you're more likely to die of bee stings than from a shark, right

        Well, if he doesn't go near the ocean, that is pretty much guaranteed to be true.

        I, for instance, have an exceedingly small chance of being eaten by a dingo.

        but your reasoning so flawed it's almost funny.

        WHOOSH!

      • by Minwee (522556)

        I don't go anywhere near the ocean.

        You do know that statistically you're more likely to die of bee stings than from a shark, right?

        That goes without saying, since sharks rarely leave the ocean.

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Practically speaking, almost all shark attacks on humans are accidental. We're just not that tasty to a Great White. More often than not, said shark saw you as a tasty sea lion or seal and wanted a snack.

        Of course, it doesn't help that said animals generally are black, and people like to wear dark swim clothes (wetsuits, etc) making humans appear to be said food.

        Of course, you could also try to befriend some dolphins, who do seem to be the shark's worst enemy. Or at least dolphins appear to repel sharks for

      • I would hazard a guess that people spend quite a bit more time on land (where the bees live) than swimming in the ocean. This is like saying I'm more likely to die in my home. Well... yes my home is where I spend most of my time that doesn't make my home more dangerous than other locations.
    • by necro81 (917438)

      This is one of the many reasons I don't go anywhere near the ocean

      The reason I don't go anywhere near the ocean is because I've got a chance of being killed in a car accident on my way there (and back). Actually being killed in the ocean? That's nuthin'.

    • by mfh (56)

      Shark attacks typically end in blood loss deaths far more often than someone being eaten. They simply don't like the way humans taste and most times when they attack a human it's because they think we're a seal.

  • by thephydes (727739) on Monday June 23, 2014 @05:34AM (#47296689)
    but probably bad news for the morons who like their photo taken with a dead marine top predator.
    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      but probably bad news for the morons who like their photo taken with a dead marine top predator.

      I don't think necrophiliacs care much about sharks.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Three words for you: Rule Thirty Four.

        And, no, I have no intention of googling it. ;-)

        • by tsa (15680)

          I did. It's not defined in the Urban Dictionary, so Rule 34 doesn't exist.

          • by gstoddart (321705)

            That, or you've lost track of how to use google. Because for me, it's [urbandictionary.com] the first search result.

            It's most certainly defined in the Urban Dictionary.

  • hmmmm ...the swimmers need to be more careful then ,.....
    • by Xest (935314)

      Well not necessarily, if as the article says there's a greater abundance of food then they'll be less likely to come and hunt dangerous and relatively bony and low meat humans.

      Generally they don't hunt us out of choice, but out of necessity.

      It's possible that an increase in great whites will result in reduced attacks if the increase is the result of greater availability of food so now satisfy or more than satisfy the population. It'll only be an issue if there are years where their food sources suffer popul

      • Re:Danger??? (Score:5, Informative)

        by oneandoneis2 (777721) on Monday June 23, 2014 @06:15AM (#47296795) Homepage

        Actually, Great Whites don't even hunt us out of necessity: We are literally useless to them as food. All they ever do to us is take a bite, realize their mistake, and carry on looking for a worthwhile meal.

        The trouble is, given their method of taking a bite involves slamming into their target at high speed and sinking hundreds of teeth in, you may well have been torn in half by the time they go "oops" and spit you back out...

        • by Thanshin (1188877)

          Actually, Great Whites don't even hunt us out of necessity: We are literally useless to them as food. All they ever do to us is take a bite, realize their mistake, and carry on looking for a worthwhile meal.

          The trouble is, given their method of taking a bite involves slamming into their target at high speed and sinking hundreds of teeth in, you may well have been torn in half by the time they go "oops" and spit you back out...

          And all that happens... 0,2 times per year?

          Compared to deaths at sea for any other reason (ran over by water bike, ran over by surfer, ran over by motorboat, drowned by currents, ...) in which position are white sharks? Next to deaths by stepping on a rusty nail while running at the beach?

          • by Chas (5144)

            True.

            Dying is one thing. Everyone does it.

            But the concept of suddenly (and surprisingly) being "eaten" by something (even accidentally) you can't really fight or escape from is a fairly horrifying one for most people.

            • Re:Danger??? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Thanshin (1188877) on Monday June 23, 2014 @07:24AM (#47296927)

              On one side, a vicious shark. On the other a retard with a motorbike, half a dozen beers and a large breasted bikini blonde to impress.

              hmm. Based on my past experiences with both, I'll take my chances with the shark.

              Oh, and I don't see how you can fight or escape a motorbike either.

              • by operagost (62405)

                Uh... take out the guy riding it?

                Do you ever leave the basement?

            • But the concept of suddenly (and surprisingly) being "eaten" by something (even accidentally) you can't really fight or escape from is a fairly horrifying one for most people.

              It's not hard to imagine all sorts of horrifyingly unpleasant ways to die. Doesn't make them any more likely. Sharks kill so few people it's barely even worth worrying about. If someone is worried about their personal safety around sharks there is a 100% foolproof way to avoid them - stay out of the water. People seriously lose their damn minds when it comes to absurdly unlikely dangers like shark attacks. I worry about a shark attack about as much as I worry about an alien invasion.

              Personally I find

          • And all that happens... 0,2 times per year?

            Compared to deaths at sea for any other reason (ran over by water bike, ran over by surfer, ran over by motorboat, drowned by currents, ...) in which position are white sharks? Next to deaths by stepping on a rusty nail while running at the beach?

            Inaccurate risk perception is way too pervasive in our society. Our schools need to get much better at teaching kids how to assess it.

          • by necro81 (917438)

            in which position are white sharks? Next to deaths by stepping on a rusty nail while running at the beach?

            Hey, man don't underestimate the dangers of tetanus. Rusty nails are a real killer, especially when they're attached to boards [google.com].

        • by cycler (31440)

          And I have no mod points.....

          /C

  • Great White Sharks Making Comeback Off Atlantic Coast

    Been a fan of GWS since the beginning. Where can I get tickets? Bit of a weird choice of venue, though.

    • by cmarkn (31706)

      Where can I get tickets?

      Check with Nucky Thompson. He can get you a great spot on the boardwalk.

  • Excellent news! (Score:5, Informative)

    by oneandoneis2 (777721) on Monday June 23, 2014 @06:13AM (#47296783) Homepage

    As has been shown time after time, the loss of apex predators is disastrous for all levels of an ecosystem.

    (If you want examples, check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... [wikipedia.org] - loss of wolves lead to over-grazing by elk; reintroducing them not only sorted the elk problem but boosted the numbers of beaver colonies, resulting in less erosion; pushed the cougars back to their traditional grounds; reduced the numbers of coyotes, which increased the number of foxes and thereby decreased the numbers of rodents, which altered the survival rates of various seeds and fungi... a whole cascade of improvements triggered by the return of a single predator.)

  • ... Global Warming.

  • Check the news (Score:4, Informative)

    by kaizendojo (956951) on Monday June 23, 2014 @08:30AM (#47297113)
    One was just sighted this weekend off the coast of New Jersey.
  • "A report that scientists are calling one of the most comprehensive studies of great white sharks finds their numbers are surging in the ocean off the Eastern U.S. and Canada

    Okay, so what about, you know, the rest of the world? The Pacific is the ocean of Fukushima. The Gulf is the ocean (well, gulf) of Corexit. Garbage gyres, offshore dumping... from what I can tell, the Atlantic is pretty much the cleanest ocean left.

    • by gregmark (750089)

      ... from what I can tell, the Atlantic is pretty much the cleanest ocean left.

      I think they're all pretty dirty and polluted with plastic. The Atlantic has the Sargasso Sea, AKA the Great Atlantic Garbage Dump. Whereas the recently expanded USA marine reserve in the Pacific is considered one of the most pristine regions of all the oceans... for now.

      You can't win. Hey, but good news is good news, I'll take it.

    • by PPH (736903)

      the Atlantic is pretty much the cleanest ocean left.

      Has it recovered from Jersey Shore this fast?

  • The seal population has been running unchecked for decades now. I just hope that people don't go all anti-shark when more people are mistaken for seals and get attacked. Sorry but you are swimming in their habitat, expect you might get confused for food.
    • Mod parent up! If the sharks can get the seals back under control, there's still an outside chance the cod will recover (everyone sing together: "It's the circle, the circle of life!"). Then if that happens, maybe we'll even see an end to this glut of lobster! Disgusting bottom feeders.... they remind me of lawyers.
      • maybe we'll even see an end to this glut of lobster! Disgusting bottom feeders.... they remind me of lawyers.

        Hmmm... Lawyers? To me, lobsters taste more like lobsters than lawyers. Young lawyers are a bit more "porkish" while salespeople and older lawyers (called "politicians" in the food columns) are just nasty - don't eat them.

  • Since we are talking about sharks, let's talk about how one reports shark and other sea creature related injuries. Here are the ICD10 codes for ocean related injuries, mostly related to being bitten by stuff that lives in the sea. The shark ones are pretty funny. The primary code for shark bite is: W56.41XA - Bitten by shark, initial encounter http://www.findacode.com/icd-1... [findacode.com] Here are all the codes related to injuries from sea creatures: http://www.chirocode.com/medic... [chirocode.com]
    • by sjames (1099)

      The sad part is with all of those codes they shat out, they're still missing venomous sea creatures.

  • Time for a JAWS reboot?
  • We're going to need more lasers.

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