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Great whites are developing taste for humans, Australian shark hunter claims

The late legendary shark hunter Frank Mundus, right, in 1986 with fellow charter boat skipper Donnie Braddick and a great white. Mundus was thought by many to have been the model for Captain Quint in the movie 'Jaws.'

Should the protection of great white sharks be lifted?

Of course not, but some might make such a claim after the next fatal attack off California. And if there is a spate of attacks, or sightings, watch out.

In Australia, where increased sightings off Queensland and the fatal chomping two weeks ago of a Perth snorkeler have generated "Jaws"-like hysteria, one man is claiming that overfishing and protection of sharks has become "a recipe for disaster."

Shark hunter Vic Hislop told the The Mercury, an Australian newspaper, that he was certain the great white that killed the snorkeler off Rockingham Beach was the same shark that killed another snorkeler just north of Perth in 2005.

Hislop, author of the book "Sharkman," said: "Everything I wrote in my book 12 years ago is coming true 100% of the time."

Claiming sharks have run low on natural food because of overfishing, Hislop says the predators are developing a taste for humans, and he is calling for lifting the protections of great whites.

That's unlikely to happen, but Hislop is entitled to his opinion.

Interestingly, what's happening in Australia brings to mind a fairly recent phenomenon in Hawaii, where state wildlife experts, responding to a spate of attacks, killed dozens of tiger sharks and turned a blind eye while citizens hunted dozens more from various islands.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: The late legendary shark hunter Frank Mundus, right, in 1986 with fellow charter boat skipper Donnie Braddick and a great white. Mundus was thought by many to have been the model for Captain Quint in the movie "Jaws." Credit: Newsday

 
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Comments (18)

If Mr Hislop is correct as he states he is 100% of the time, why are we not seeing far greater fatal shark attacks as this penchant for human flesh has developed.

Surely just sheer weight of numbers of people in the water would equate for higher attacks. He cannot state that the fact these sharks are protected is a reason for this, as they would only become hunted once the attack has taken place.

It seems like a case of making fiction into a fact to justify his own bloodlust for killing these fish.

Guys and girls,

If sharks are now turning to sharks as their food source there must be some really under-nourished sharks out there, or else there is are about 8 man-eating sharks worldwide.

Shark attacks account for about 8 deaths globally per year (464 since 1958, ISAF) and even less humans are actually consumed by the shark (suggesing that most attacks are mistaken identity.

Vic Hislop ("Shark hunter" notice the agenda?) and other hysterical individuals need to get a sense of perspective. Hippopotamus killed more people per year than sharks. Do we suggest they are developing a taste for human flesh?

Perhaps we should look to the increasing human population in the water to find blame. If you jump in the river with a herd of hippos expect to be attacked. Its sharks natural habitat and we jump in there and play around like their food source. Any surprise?

Good article showing healthy skepticism! Good and balanced comment too, in the main.

I sense poor old Vic belongs in a "Grey Nursing" home.

Hello all!
After reading the above article, We do agree that everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs.
With all the over fishing, it is not surprising that sharks have turned to humans as there next primary source of food..
Instead of lifting the protection of great white sharks, why not limit the amount of fish that is allowed to be brought in yearly. This way sharks will not be obligated to feed off humans, if they had an abundent source of food they would not be obligated to come to more shallow waters for dinner..
Ask yourselfs, eliminating the shark population would do what for us?

so this Person Vic Hislop says that overfishing has caused great whites to attack people, and that we should start killing them...hmmmmmm...

NO WHAT the heck! so is he going to solve the problem of overfishing with more fishing??? what?!? He is an idot!!!

when you get in the water you risk your life... and you need to understand that there are things that may eat you in the water... man was not made to be in the water.... so leave these beautiful sharks alone!!! Your going to end up with a bigger problem!

AS they say in the film Jaws, ' You go in the water, sharks in the water ' If you want to reduce the chance of a shark attack to zero, dont go in the water, its plain and simple. would you start destroying cars if people were walking all over motorways and getting run over. ? ? ? ?

I would encourage everyone to watch the documentary called "Sharkwater" which has segment on this idiot Vic Hislop.

Great White sightings off the coast of California have increase steadily over the past few years, as have attacks on people. The species itsesf, while maybe not thriving, is making a comeback. The recent explosion in the sea lion population as well as more people in the water is inevitably going to result in more attacks and mass hysteria. Whichever side of the argument you reside, be ready to argue away as your audience will be all ears once the panic sets in.

Oh dear another 'expert' threatened by a species he does not understand. One, that learnt to survive long before man and will no doubt continue long after man has made himself extinct.

I suspect there may be more shark attacks, doubt that they will be responsible for more deaths than bees or hippopotamuses The reason being as Vic Hislop said man's over fishing, not the shark, man's destruction of the sea beds and coral reefs man's polution of the sea water. Hold on Great Whites wont be long before man becomes extinct and you can have the sea back and become top predator again and reduce the seals and other species that have grown out of proportion since your numbers have reduced.
Darwin

Lets see whom would I believe? Someone using the scientific method and real data to come up with and verify hypothesis or some old kook pulling things out of his but. hmmmm.

''Vic Hislop has learned about sharks from personal outdoor contact with heaps of them. Many of the shark experts speaking on the media do their research in an office'' what are you talking about! Vic has only learned his out door contact by killing theses animals and learning only from what happens when they are hooked and are fighting for their lives!! Having worked with this animals and dived with them many times I can tell you from real 'out door' contact that these are beautiful and miss understood animals that need our protection.

Vic is still living in the Jaws era!!! His views are out dated and alarming. Its people like this that will cause these and other great animals to become extinct.

vic hislop is a moron. he will be scorched from the earth. so say i

We need more Great white here in California. They can Catch and bring it here. Too many seals and sea lions everywhere

Let me see if I understand this: Per Vic Hislop and Ric Wilson, Great White Sharks are attacking people more due to "global warming, increased radiation, overfishing at sea and population growth equating to more people using the water" so the answer is kill more sharks?!?

Vic Hislop has learned about sharks from personal outdoor contact with heaps of them. Many of the shark experts speaking on the media do their research in an office.

I've heard George Burgess (shark attack file) speak at the 2002 Taipei International Shark Conference and could not be bothered correcting him on several errors he made.

It's the guys that have practical shark experience on the sea and under the sea versus those that research out of newspapers and emails.

Who would you really trust to know better?

Hislop has his agenda. If he succeeds, he gets to play media shark god to film crews eager to shoot the death of a magnificent predator. As a "museum quality" throwback to the 70's Jaws Mythos, Hisplop remains a cautionary tale of cro magnon human reactions to the sudden and shocking discovery that in some places, we are not the top predator.

First - Pete Thomas, this is a sloppy piece of reporting in reference to the Hawaii shark culling incidents. Those were in the early 1990's. 18 years ago is "recent"?

Second, Vic Hislop sounds like he has the kind of certainty that can only be had by a complete idiot. Who in their right mind would claim that they are CERTAIN that the same shark is responsible for two attacks years apart. Recent studies have clearly shown that these animals move thousands of miles across ocean basins, from Africa to Australia and back. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the same shark is responsible for any two attacks.

But if that were true, why would we need to start killing great white sharks? By Hislop's logic, there's only ONE we need to worry about. -And Hislop is so certain of everything (his book predictions come true '100% of the time'?) he can probably go out on the water and find the exact shark within minutes, even if it is half way to Africa by now.

"Shark Man"? I doubt it...

People should listen to Vic Hislop re his shark perspective as his predictions are coming true. I have researched this saga also and see the evidence myself in the capacity of one of Australia's longest serving voluntary beach patrol pilots. The agendas of conservation and tourism are based on misinformation - in short, the public have been lied to with the wrong set of facts. Wake up people and start protecting your offspring from a growing danger due to global warming, increased radiation, overfishing at sea and population growth equating to more people using the water - with a false sense of security no thanks to George Burgess from Florida and John West in Australia that are the spin doctors of shark mismanagement.


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