Friday, September 26, 2008

Sharks... eek

Sharks are a great fear of mine, and I don't think it's entirely irrational. Aquariums aside, were I interacting with a shark, it seems likely that the chances would be high that the shark would be at the advantage.

Also, Damien Hurst's freaky art piece has been a fixture in my nightmares since Sensation.

So, we know where I stand on the issue of sharks. That said though, they're fascinating creatures.

In the interest of discussing these elegant and terrifying creatures, here's some recent shark news.

Over 100 new species of sharks and rays have been recently identified. Despite these newly identified species, Sharks are in peril globally. Like other predators, they are over-hunted, either for their fins for popular soups, or as trophies.

Sharks reputations are pretty poor, much like wolves which were hunted nearly to extinction in North America, but like wolves, are essential parts of the ecosystem.

Shark attacks on humans are a terrifying specter since the beginning of the 20th century when sea-bathing first became an accepted recreational activity. Since then, there has been a tug of war between reporting shark attacks and protecting the interests of tourism.

One of the most interesting sites I've recently run across is Shark Conspiracies, which points out some areas where reporting of shark attacks is lax.

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