MYTH: WHERE THERE ARE DOLPHIN THERE ARE NO SHARKS

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Spinner Dolphin

A deckhand on a prawn trawler off Exmouth Western Australia had the following information, which could apply to anywhere.

\We were throwing the by-catch back, (90% of the catch can be rubbish marine life) the rubbish in this case was the usual easy food for several sharks and a couple of dolphin keeping pace with our boat traveling at 8 knots toward port.

I saw a bull shark about 2.5meters long make a sudden strike at the dolphin swimming alongside. The dolphin kept swimming, now with a huge crescent shape chunk of it

WOBBEGONG & CAT SHARKS ……. Flat Rock,Queensland

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Wobbe’s have bitten plenty of people – usually but not always in their self-defense

“The public’s attitude toward sharks has changed over the years, from hostility in the old days, to fascination during the Jaws craze in the 1970s, to interest and growing affection nowadays.

After hundreds of generations of fearing sharks and wanting to kill them, perhaps we’re beginning to appreciate them for the magnificent animals they are”.** \Peter Benchley\**

Correction.The Australian attitude toward sharks in the Jaws era was more than fascination.

There was absolute fear of the ocean waters, a consequence that lasted years and perhaps had some impact on grey nurse vanishing temporarily while the shark jaw craze was in full swing.

The hatred was for all sharks, with a demand for jaws that pushed prices to seemingly ridiculous new highs.

Peter Benchley was to become a marine spokesperson. He learned much about sharks **since writing** the fictional Jaws. He passed away in 2006 from a lung-related problem.

SHARK MYTHS EXAMINED

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Montague Island (above in 1964) and Fish Rock (below in 1963)

**Undated, published pictures** appearing regularly over many years helped create the currently accepted myth that hundreds of sharks were involved, reality was otherwise.

It was a few sharks with the same pictures published regularly over a long period of time that had some believing many sharks were victims.

News value in hunting sharks underwater for documentaries lasted briefly and was over by 1967. North American TV networks rejected buying such product. The change was on the way and has grown ever since.

People who write about shark hunting figures borrow the information from previous writers.

For years the largest known white pointer shark/great white shark was listed at 36.5 feet and caught at Port Fairy, Australia. Eventually scientists agreed the set of jaws in a British museum were more likely from a shark 16.5 feet in length and certainly not the larger.

This is a common example of one error turned into a fact that lasted for decades.

Errors with the number of grey nurse sharks killed by spear fishermen in the 1960’s, often quoted by writers borrowing flawed material by others have been allowed to continue unchecked, until recently.

Those who know better, fed-up with years of half-truths in the media, are attempting to set the record straight.