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Sports Illustrated
Dec 4, 1989 v71 n23 p97(7)
The shadows of the sea: people fear shark, but they are vital to the sea.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Time, Inc.
hertz). Polynesian shark fishermen traditionally pound the gun-wales of their boats with clubs to draw schools of the THE SHADOWS OF THE SEA On Sept. 13, 1988, Susan predators. During the attack, Barnes and Segrest had Barnes, Jon Martin and Terry Segrest, Martin’s girlfriend, seen two other sharks circling the boat.
anchored their 17-foot boat next to the enormous granite blocks that form one of the two St. Andrews State Park About half an hour later, the dive boat Capt. Scuba II, held jetties in Panama City, Fla. It was a pleasant afternoon, inshore by hurricane-caused turbulence and murkiness out and they had just finished a picnic lunch when they in the open Gulf of Mexico, dropped anchor near the site of decided to go for a leisurely swim. Soon, the two young the fatal attack. Ignorant of what had just happened, a women saw porpoises rolling in the surf nearby. Back they group of vacationers put on masks, fins and snorkels, and climbed into the boat. Martin, still in the water, chided them dived into the water to explore the St. Andrews jetties. for being afraid.
Claude Perdue Jr., from Kingsport, Tenn., and two friends were stroking toward the jetties when Perdue felt his left "I’m not afraid of them," Barnes retorted. "I just don’t want flipper bump something. Instinctively he drew his leg up to to be i n the water while they’re around me." see what it was. Then a shadow behind him darted in, grabbed the fin off his right foot and sped on. Perdue and Martin, according to the Florida Marine Patrol report, his friends bolted across the water to the nearest boat, 50 continued to tease the women about sharks, humming the yards away. The other divers were piling in behind him drumming score from Jaws, knocking and jolting the boat when they heard screams of "Shark!" coming from the like Peter Benchley’s great white shark. Suddenly Martin jerked spasmodically. "Help me, help me!" he yelled.
Harold and Dorothy Hadden, of McDonough, Ga., had also Even when Barnes saw a six-foot black shape beside been on the Capt. Scuba II, but swam off toward an area Martin, she thought he was joking, extending his leg out to known as Shell Island Beach instead of toward the jetties. look like a shark. But when he began reaching underwater They noticed a dark shape circling them as they swam and to fight something off, the two women screamed and tried waded in the shallows, and thought it was a porpoise. desperately to pul him into the boat.
Suddenly, a shark’s head rose out of the water and grabbed the woman’s right arm in its teeth. She screamed His hands were in shreds. Each woman grabbed an arm, as her husband kicked at the attacker. The shark let go. but at 220 pounds, Martin was too heavy to lift. the shark Hadden had gotten his body between the shark and his bit down on his right leg, just below the knee, and hung on wife, shouting for her to get to the beach. The fish kept until the grisly tug-of-war stripped all the flesh off the bone. coming, and he kept pounding it, abrading his hands on its Martin went into shock. The women managed to lift him rasping hide, kicking out, pushing it away. His fist went into halfway into the boat, when the shark circled back for the shark’s mouth and it clamped down, inflicting severe another attack. They held on to Martin as the shark shook puncture wounds on his arm, but the fish let go as the him, tearing a massive chunk out of his right thigh. the couple backed into the surf line. After the bleeding pair had women got a close-up look at its dark-gray 18-inch-wide fought to where the waves were breaking, the shark ended head, its rounded nose and its smooth triangular teeth. From their description, experts later surmised that the attacker was a bull shark, a known man-eater.
Mike Haglund, captain of Capt. Scuba II, radioed the Coast Guard for help. While they waited, Haglund and his mate Segrest told Barnes to start the motor, hoping to scare the watched a large shark--possibly the killer fish--swimming shark away and pull her boyfriend to the beach. But when up and down the shoreline. "It acted funny," he re-called. Barnes hit the switch, the boat lurched forward and stalled, "It didn’t seem to be in any kind of rush, it didn’t go and Martin was jerked from Segrest’s grasp. People in a anywhere or try to get away. I’ve seen a lot of sharks in my passing boat had heard the women’s screams and seen time," he said, "but I’ve never seen one like that." the bedlam. They rushed to help. Martin lay face down in a bloody sea. The rescuers gaffed his bathing suit, and Quickly, the Florida Marine Patrol issued warnings to pulled him to the beach. He was dead.
swimmers and began flights along the shoreline. A school of 200 blacktip sharks was spotted in the area, but that, in When Martin knocked on the boat, he may have caused itself, was not unusual. According to Ren Lohoefener of the fatal attack. Scientists know that sharks detect and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in home in on low-frequency sounds (between 50 and 1,000 Pascagoula, Miss., schools of sharks often congregate - Reprinted with permission. Additional copying is prohibited. -
Sports Illustrated
Dec 4, 1989 v71 n23 p97(7)
The shadows of the sea: people fear shark, but they are vital to the sea.
along sandy beaches, intermixed with swimmers and U.S. over the past decade. Dr. Robert Hueter of the Mote fishermen. In recent years, NMFS biologists have Marine Laboratory in sarasota, Fla., has monitored the conducted aerial surveys along the northern beaches of increasing rate of commercial shark fishing in Florida the Gulf of Mexico. Looking down from 1,000 feet at the during the 1980s. Often the number of sharks landed has white surf, they have seen hundreds of sharks. "They’re doubled from one year to the next, and now this $3 million just sitting there, right on those sandbars in two or three fishery takes well over 100,000 sharks each year. Many feet of water," says Carol Roden, a biologist with the end up as domestic table fare, but a lot are pursued for project. "Aside from hammerheads, we can’t tell what their fins, which are much sought after in the Far East for species they are from up there. Sometimes we see people wading out and surf casting right next to them. I want to shout, ’Get out of there!’" The commercial fishing boat we sailed on in May 1988 was specially built for long-lining and was on only its The truth is, sharks and people have been swimming second voyage. Its huge reel spewed out mile after mile of together for a long time, and people are generally not line into the night sea somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico bothered by the fish. It’s estimated that 40 to 100 shark south of New Orleans. It was hard and dangerous fishing. attacks occur per year worldwide, fewer than 20% of them As the running line played out, the crew worked feverishly, fatal. But to the family of Jon Martin, the statistics are cold snapping weights and hooks baited with snake eels onto dropper lines. Several hours later, the men began the slow process of hauling back. "Got a shark coming," a crew What happened, then, in Panama City (which, in the member hollered. A hard snatch yanked up a six-foot grimmest of ironies, is only 40 miles from where the movie blacktip through the starboard gateway. The shark went Jaws II was shot)? Why did that shark attack when it did? wild, thrashing, beating its body back and forth. With a Or did several sharks attack? Mike Brim, a marine biologist loud whack, a blow from a machete parted the sandpapery who happened to be nearby at the time, reported that the skin and left a deep cut behind the head. The shark water was unusually murky in the area at the time of the stiffened and twitched. Another swipe, and off came the attack. Hurricane Gilbert, one of the largest storms of the tail, blood gushing out of the fish’s caudal artery in a century, hit the Yucatan Peninsula the next day. Hurricane steady stream. Then another chop took off the first dorsal Florence had recently passed near the Panama City area, fin, then the second dorsal--dried, they will sell for $20 to and with it had come ultralow barometric readings and $25 a pound. The shark gave a violent twitch as members disrupted surf patterns. Could any of these occurrences of the crew twisted its head around and around to remove have affected the shark? Or was the attacker a sick or it; they threw it, with the still-attached guts, into the sea. The kidneys were blasted out of the carcass with a deck hose, to prevent the flesh from being contaminated with On June 29 of this year another group of divers was the strong smell and taste of urea. The finless, headless spearfishing on a wreck nine miles off Panama City. "trunk" was heaved down into a bin to be brought to Sharks appeared, and the divers fled the water. Witnesses aboard the dive boat Duchess saw Rick Webster, a policeman from Bartlett, Tenn., frantically waving his spear More sharks came aboard, and thick clotted blood ran gun; his personal flotation device was inflated. Suddenly through the scuppers and stained the sea. The trunks piled he was snatched violently beneath the surface and was up like cordwood. It took a hydraulic arm to life a 10-foot, never seen again. Was it a shark? Nobody knows for sure. 680-pound female dusky shark aboard. Inside her belly a It’s a big ocean, and sharks move in the shadows. dozen unborn pups squirmed around in the uterus, visible Considering that shark s are among the most ancient of through the membrane. Female sharks of many species creatures--they have been around for 400 million do not reproduce until they are 11 or 12 years old. Then, years--and are among the most diverse--there are 350 they bear only eight to 10 live young every other year. species, ranging in size from six-ounce cigar sharks to Biologists fear that heavily fished shark populations may 15-ton whale sharks--it is amazing how little man knows recofer their depleted numbers very slowly or not at all.
about the fish. The following report is the result of a study conducted aboard a commercial fishing boat, another "So what!" is a common reaction to that conjecture. "The aboard a sportfishing vessel, and with a landmark sooner they’re gone, the better," says a fearful--and largely ignorant--mankind. But a fishery worth millions of dollars will be gone, too. Since 1900. Scottish spiny dogfish, Long a traditional dish in Asia, Europe and Latin America, harmless basking sharks and porbeagles have virtually shark--often billed as mako, although several species are disappeared from the North Atlantic, as have school succulently edible--has become popular fare in parts of the sharks off Australia, and soupfin sharks off California. Blue - Reprinted with permission. Additional copying is prohibited. -
Sports Illustrated
Dec 4, 1989 v71 n23 p97(7)
The shadows of the sea: people fear shark, but they are vital to the sea.
sharks, threshers and angel sharks appear to be reaching the overfished stage on the Pacific coast.
The weather wasn’t cooperating for the three-day event, Ironically, the population of great white sharks, the most and the 40-foot charter boat pounded in the waves. Spray renowned man-eaters, is increasing, at least along the blasted the windshield. Captain Yogi McIntosh clung to the California coast. It was off Zuma Beach, about four miles wheel and throttles, slowing down and then speeding up from Malibu, that two abandoned kayaks were found the throbbing diesel as we worked our way offshore. Rick lashed together, one behind the other, on Jan. 27 of this and Chuck Stillwell from Port Salerno had paid $1,200 to year. The body of one of the kayak owners, Tamara charter the Mindi for the tournament.
McAllister, 24, was found the next day, floating 50 miles away. She had suffered a massive shark bite, 13 inches At last we stopped and dropped the outriggers. Out came across her left thigh. The young woman didn’t drown, she the rods and reels, and McIntosh baited up with live mullet bled to death. The coroner said there was evidence that that he had caught earlier with a cast net. "The mullet are McAllister had been flailing the water. There were classic doing the chumming for us," said McIntosh. "A shark can signs of an attack by a great white shark. McAllister’s smell them a mile away and here he’ll come." Sharks can boyfriend, Roy Stoddard, a fellow UCLA graduate student, detect minute quantities of a substance in the water--as had been in the other kayak. He was never found.
little as one part per billion--and home in on it.
John McCosker, director of the Steinhart Aquarium in San The lines played out. If ever there were distressed fish Francisco, says, "I doubt they ever saw the shark, no more giving off vibrations, these were. The mullet sped than a sea lion floating on the surface ever sees the one desperately into the depths. When a shark closes in, it is that kills it. To the shark’s eye looking upward, the aided in locating a potential meal by being able to detect silhouette of the kayaks must have looked like normal electrical fields of one hundred-millionth of a volt through their ampullae of Lorenzini, the little jelly-filled pits, which are electroreceptors, found on the undersides of their "We already have one of the largest white shark snouts. They sense the electrical fields generated by the populations in the world. As the mammal population muscle activity in other animals, which is why certain grows, it appears the shark population follows. And so will sharks can locate and seize flounder that lie completely attacks on humans. I heartily endorse the Marine Mammal Protection Act, but that’s the reason the great whites are increasing." Only minutes passed before one of the rods bent violently. "It’s a hit," yelled McIntosh, dashing forward, grabbing the Sharks are predators at the top of the food chain, the rod and whipping it backward to set the hook. Rick Stillwell awesome wolves and tigers of the ocean. They are critical jumped into the fighting chair, took the bending rod and in maintaining the ecological balance of the seas. If they began reeling madly. It wasn’t a monstrous shark, but it disappear, it will affect many other species. California sea took all his strength to keep it coming toward the boat.
lions and seals are multiplying rapidly--the estimated current population of 90,000 sea lions is double that of 10 In a few moments the shark surfaced. It was a years ago--and scientists think that the great whites are hammerhead of barely 50 pounds. McIntosh slipped on his needed to cull the sick and the slow in order to maintain a gloves, leaned over, taking a wave in the face, and healthy gene pool. Sandbar sharks, blacktips, lemons and grabbed the leader. "Hell, he ain’t hardly hooked!" sharpnose sharks eat finfish that feed on shrimp; a McIntosh cried out. He reached down and grabbed the multimillion-dollar shrimp fishery could be harmed should shark by its airfoil-shaped head, and with all his might those species of sharks become depleted. Bull sharks and jerked it up. Everyone scattered as the fish pounded the hammerheads are major predators of stingrays. If those deck with its tail, arcing its grotesque hammer about the sharks are fished out, will the venomous flat fish that injure snapping its semicircular mouth filled with small, sharp hundreds of bathers each year proliferate? Sandbar teeth. McIntosh suffered a good wallop from the tail. sharks feed on octopus, which in turn feed on stone crabs. Shortly afterward, a larger hammerhead was hauled up. If the sanbars are eliminated, will the stone crab fishery This time McIntosh subdued it with a snub-nosed .38. As abruptly as the action began, it stopped. There would be no more sharks caught by the Mindi this day. When we At the same time that the commercial fishery for sharks arrived back at the dock, an enormous bull shark was has intensified, sport-fishing for the species has also haning from the crane at Port Salerno’s Sandsprit Park. It become popular. In September 1988 we boarded the weighted out at 384 pounds and was enough to earn the Mindi, one of 30 craft competing in the 13th annual Port team of Mike Simonds and Robert Mostler the $2,500 first - Reprinted with permission. Additional copying is prohibited. -
Sports Illustrated
Dec 4, 1989 v71 n23 p97(7)
The shadows of the sea: people fear shark, but they are vital to the sea.
prize. Crowds of people milled around the nearly nine-foot-long fish, gazing up at it with expressions of awe and fear, and watching biologists who were examining the After lunch we joined a team that uses ultrasonic tags to track juvenile lemon sharks in the shallow sea-grass flats between the islands. The water was too shallow for an "We enjoy having the biologists come down," said Karen outboard, so an airboat was used. Through a deafening Worden, one of the organizers of the tournament. "I can’t roar Erich Glavitza, a manufacturer of snowmobile engines see doing something like this and killing for nothing. We whose hobby is studying sharks, drove us over the flats in don’t take enough to hurt--over the years the tournament’s pursuit of two-foot baby lemons. Chip Pike, a graduate had as few as 18 and as high as 56 sharks." Thinking of student of Gruber’s, was stationed on the bow, dip net in the mass slaughter we had recently witnessed on the hand. We zigzagged in hot pursuit of a fleeing sharklet, long-liner, I couldn’t totally disagree with Worden’s view.
running it to exhaustion so that Pike could swoop it up in a net. Then the shark was rushed to a large chain-link pen After the biologists measured the fish--recording such that had been assembled in the shallow water of the flats.
things as the size of the fins, the number of its teeth, the length of its body--they dissected it. Tissue samples, When we arrived, several baby lemon sharks were moving frozen on the spot in liquid nitrogen, were collected by restlessly around the pen, their tails undulating. After eons Mote Marine Lab’s Hueter and his research team for a of evolution they have become creatures of motion, of study on the genetic differences among shark populations. streamlining, with triangular fins that cut the water cleanly, The shark’s gut was empty, and so was the uterus. "Looks allowing them to pursue prey with both grace and violence.
like she recently pupped," Hueter said, holding up a flaccid oviduct.
With long-handled nets, Pike and John Morrissey, another graduate student, stalked the small lemons, grabbing at As a rule, when a female shark gives birth, she stops the sharks as they sped between their legs. Soon silt feeding and swims offshore, away from the nursery stirred off the bottom, and the dark forms moved like grounds. She will not feed until she has traveled a bombers through cloud formations. At last the students considerable distance from her young. It is possible that caught one. It squirmed as they held it aloft. Small holes this instinct reduces cannibalism, because large sharks were punched in the fish’s dorsal and pectoral fins for are known to dine heavily on smaller ones.
quick visual identification. Sutures closed up an incision in the muscle where a sonic tag had been implanted. A There was something atavistic about the scene at Port yellow plastic tag, marking the implant, protruded from its Salerno, something from our earliest hunter-gatherer ancestry, when people came together to watch a large something being dismembered for dinner. As Worden said, They turned the little lemon loose, and it sped off across "People are afraid of them, yet they want to see them. If all the flats. Now and then a tiny set of triangular dorsal fins we had were bluefish, there wouldn’t be a fraction of the appeared on the water’s surface for a second, throwing a small wake before vanishing. Morrissey waded behind, dragging a hydrophone through the water, listening Blacktip, sandbar, tiger, bull, dusky, hammerhead, through the earphones for the occasional ping that silky--we know very little about any of the sharks. We indicated contact with the little shark. The scientists had certainly do not know how many years it takes for a population to replace itself. Lemon sharks grow about four inches a year and don’t reach sexual maturity until they Slogging through the vast tidal flats in pursuit of Moxie, are 13 to 15 years old, according to Dr. Samuel H. Guber Morrissey said, "We’ve learned that baby lemons go back of the University of Miami. That seems slow for a fish, but to their home base and stay in about a 400-meter zone, among sharks, who knows? Several blue sharks tagged about 50 meters wide, along shore. They patrol the same off New Jersey by NMFS scientists showed little or no piece of bottom over and over again, and we haven’t the growth on recapture seven years later.
faintest idea why. They aren’t territorial, they don’t defend their strip, their populations overlap. But they all have their We joined Gruber’s research team as it worked off the Marquesas, the tiny uninhabited islands west of Key West. That town’s clutter faded into the distance as we sped over Another team, headed by veterinarian Dr. Charlie Manire, the meadows of sea grass and coral reefs, heading for a was tending research longlines a mile away. In those rendezvous with the research vessel Columbus Iselin, a deeper waters a six-foot nurse shark snatched and jerked 175-foot symbol of the effort underway here to understand against the lines when the team approached. They hauled - Reprinted with permission. Additional copying is prohibited. -
Sports Illustrated
Dec 4, 1989 v71 n23 p97(7)
The shadows of the sea: people fear shark, but they are vital to the sea.
it to the surface, put a loop over the fish’s tail and another on his fins, mask and snorkle, and dived overboard. He around its head, just in front of the dorsal fin and behind flipped and dying fish over and began swimming it, the pectorals, and with much difficulty they secured it to propelling it forward to circulate the water through its open the gunwale of their 20-foot skiff. "Hold the tape on the mouth and gills. We followed along in the boat, hoping it nose," someone called out, above the splashing and would come back to life and reclaim its place in nature.
grunting. Quickly, but with caution, they measured the distance from the nose to the first dorsal find, the space At last the shark began to move, its caudal fin swishing between the fins, and the length of the tail, checking for back and forth. Finally, with a kick of its long graceful tail, it small differences between this shark and those elsewhere surged ahead under its own power. Manire swam behind that might indicate separate populations.
for a moment, then popped up some distance away with a triumphant, "He’s gone." Among other things, the measurements helped determine the dosage of tetracycline that would be injected into the Now there was only open blue water, sea-grass meadows, body cavity of the fish. This antibiotic leaves an identifiable and mangrove islands--and somewhere out there a tagged reference mark in the shark’s cartilagenous spine. If the shark. A fearsome shadow of the deep.
shark is ever recaptured, the number of growth rings that have been formed since creating the marker will provide Jack and Anne Rudloe are Florida-based naturalists who frequently collaborate on manuscripts.
The scientists jabbed a tag into the nurse’s dorsal fin--a long piece of monofilament with a tube attached containing a scroll of information for fishermen on what to do should they capture the shark. Then the team took a blood sample, rolling the creature on its belly, cutting through the hide to insert a needle, and drawing a syringeful out of the tail artery. The blood would later be analyzed on the basis of 12 different parameters. Of most interest to Gruber is the role hormones play in female shark reproduction.
Then the hook was pried as gently as possible from the shark’s jaw, and the fish was sent on its way. The nurse took off with a great swish of its tail. It seemed more annoyed than damaged by the experience. That is not always the case.
A struggling 6-1/2-foot lemon came up next, full of life when the scientists first approached. But by the time they got it mouth-up with dorsal fin down--which has a tranquilizing effect on sharks--most of its life seemed gone. "When you catch them, a few specimens seem to give up and just fade away," said Glavitza.
Manire held the lemon nose-down with one hand and worked vise-grip pliers back and forth, trying to get the hook out. "Give me a scalpel," he finally hollered. He cut the tissue around the barb until it popped out.
They let the shark go, but it sank limply to the bottom, landing on its back, its stark white belly showing up through the blue water from five feet below. We had observed the same scene several times in the past few months. But this time it was accompanied by a sick feeling of loss.
We were not alone in that feeling. Hastily, Manire jerked - Reprinted with permission. Additional copying is prohibited. -

Source: http://sharkmans-world.eu/research/humanfear.pdf

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