About the time I interviewed shark expert George Burgess

About 3 years ago, I had the opportunity to interview shark expert George Burgess. It was a pretty good time, especially the end of the interview. Figured this week was a good time to share. Part 1 Part 2

What’s the weirdest shark story you’ve ever experienced?
Well, one of the best stories I would guess was a 3 sharks on one hook experience. While fishing in North Carolina one time, using a long line, which is a method scientists use to catch sharks to do biological studies, we caught a dogfish shark on the hook, which was then eaten by a black tip shark, and then a larger shark, a bull shark, grabbed the black tip shark. So when we pulled the bull shark in lo and behold, we found 2 other sharks that had been on the same hook. We caught 3 sharks on one hook.

Hmm. Lucky.
[Silence]

Have any questions for me?
No, I think we’re cool and if there’s anything you need, let me know.

Do you have a comment on Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus?
Who cares?

About the time I interviewed shark expert George Burgess

Shark Week: Megamouth Shark Eaten

No one would confuse me for a shark lover, but I’m not a COMPLETE jerk. That’s why I think it’s a shame that a megamouth shark was recently captured and eaten in the Philippines. This was only the 41st megamouth shark ever found. I’d support an international law preventing the killing, hunting, or eating of any shark species with a population lower than 200.

Via Boing Boing.

Shark Week: Megamouth Shark Eaten

Shark Week: Interview With Shark Expert George Burgess Part 2

Continuing right where we left off yesterday with our interview with George Burgess, the director of the International Shark Attack File, which tracks shark attacks all over the world. If a shark bites a person somewhere on this planet, Burgess and his crew track down all of the information and keep it safe in the File.

It seems like the number of unprovoked shark attacks is very low relative to the number of people who spend time in the water.

Boy, that’s true.

So how scared should someone really be about spending time in the ocean?

I think that if one is worried about being scared or that sort of thing, they ought to be more scared about the ride to the beach in their vehicle. There’s certainly a much greater danger in that than in the other. That said, any time we enter the sea, we need to remember that it’s a wilderness experience. We’re entering an alien environment, one that we’re not pre-adapted for and one that can, occasionally, cause us some harm. Whether it be jelly fish, or barracudas, or stinging corals, or whatever it is, the fact of the matter is that there some things out there that can do us damage and occasionally do. So we need to go out there with respect, we need to go out there with the understanding that we’re not a member of that environment, we’re not pre-adapted for swimming, we don’t have gills. And in fact, we’re pretty lousy when it comes to being participants in the water by nature of our activity.

We’re at a huge disadvantage in the water and just like we show caution when we go on other wilderness experiences, whether it be hiking in the Rockies and remembering that there are mountain lions and bears or taking a tourist trip to the Serengeti Plain and understanding that there are lions and cheetahs and elephants and other things that can do us damage, we need to do the same thing of course with the sea and know that we have to exercise some caution. That said, the sea is a pretty forgiving space and most people enter the sea don’t even think about it at all and don’t pay a price. It’s a pretty darn safe recreational activity. When you consider we’ve been averaging 4 deaths per year worldwide in all areas, that’s such a ridiculously low figure compared to other risks associated with aquatic recreation or any other recreational activities you probably put that at the bottom of the page if you make a table of dangerous recreational activities. In any case, one shouldn’t be really worried about this kind of thing, but one should have respect.
Continue reading “Shark Week: Interview With Shark Expert George Burgess Part 2”

Shark Week: Interview With Shark Expert George Burgess Part 2

Shark Week: Interview With Shark Expert George Burgess

George Burgess is the director of the International Shark Attack File, which tracks shark attacks all over the world. If a shark bites a person somewhere on this planet, Burgess and his crew track down all of the information and keep it safe in the File. I tracked Burgess down a couple weeks ago and he graciously agreed to answer some questions. Part 2 will be posted tomorrow.

Is there something specific that drew you to your study of sharks and your work with sharks?

I guess, like many people I grew up with a fascination for sharks, having grown up on the coast line. I think most people are excited about sharks on some level. The difference was that I was able to take that fascination with sharks and interest in sharks and turn it into a career.

So you grew up in Florida or?

I was an Air Force brat. My dad was in the Air Force. So we moved around quite a bit, but everywhere we lived was coastal. I lived in Virginia, Hawaii, Italy, New Hampshire, and eventually settled on Long Island, New York. In all cases I was fortunate enough to be able to be near the ocean and obviously my appreciation of things marine grew and I had lots of opportunity to get on the water and in the water.

Do you remember your first shark experience?
Continue reading “Shark Week: Interview With Shark Expert George Burgess”

Shark Week: Interview With Shark Expert George Burgess

Shark Week: Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus

There’s the story about Snakes on a Plane getting made because some LA movie makers were at a bar playing a game where the goal was the come up with the stupidest movie pitch possible. I have a feeling that people saw the cult attention Snakes on a Plane received before it came out and decided they could make a better marketing campaign. This was a bad idea because none of the people who gushed about Snakes on a Plane before it came out actually went to see it and the movie flopped.

I wonder how they decided how to bill Lorenzo Lamas above Debbie Gibson? I wonder how mega a shark would have to be to allow it to jump out of the water and catch an air plane?

Shark Week: Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus