Reevaluating our Place on Earth

Hey Shark Lovers!

For this blog post I wanted to discuss a few things shark related that are getting a lot of attention in the media.

Most recently, on September 15th a 26-year-old man was attacked by a shark at Newcomb Hollow Beach in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Although the man received immediate help, he unfortunately succumbed to his injuries and died in the hospital. According to the Boston Globe, this was the first fatal attack in Massachusetts in over 80 years, and only the fourth recorded fatality in the state’s history. About one month before this incident, another man was attacked while swimming off of Longnook Beach also in Cape Cod. Fortunately, this man was able to recover from his injuries and survived. Researchers have concluded that great white sharks are most likely responsible for these attacks, however that data has not been released to the public.

Another event I want to bring up is an incident involving the killing of tiger sharks in the Whitsundays, Australia. Six tiger sharks were shot and killed following two separate attacks on a woman and young girl. Fisheries Queensland, who are responsible for the killing, aren’t 100% certain that these specific tiger sharks did in fact attack, however they said it’s “more than likely” given the sharks’ sizes.

It is so important to talk about these situations because unfortunately a lot of people get their only perception of sharks from articles like these (links provided below). Although it is upsetting when shark attacks occur, we have to remember that we are putting ourselves at risk by encroaching on their habitats every time we swim in the ocean. There are so many dangerous organisms in our oceans, but most of us still choose to swim, snorkel and dive because we are so captivated by life underwater. We need to consider the fact that we are constantly invading the homes of millions of species. This brings me to my main point of this article: it is essential that we reevaluate our place on earth. Who said we had a right to kill those six tiger sharks when we were the ones invading their space?  We should be living in harmony with all of nature. This means respecting the earth’s resources and recognizing the importance of all lives. We are a part of nature, just like Aldo Leopold stated in his book, The Land Ethic. By remembering this, we can shift our perception of life to a more biocentric point of view.


'We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” ~ Aldo Leopold



Fatal Shark Attack in Cape Cod: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/09/15/swimmer-attacked-shark-wellfleet-beach/BUHXXP2zGvNYQ5QoyyAD8I/story.html

Shark Attack in Cape Cod: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/08/15/man-reportedly-bit-shark-cape-cod-beach/yHBK1rWHPiJHiNkxzUneAJ/story.html

Whitsundays Attacks: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/09/24/australia/australia-shark-attacks-cull/index.html

 

Written by: Nikki Tenaglia