Thursday, November 18

Save the Shark

Im with the Shark on this one. Its horrible, but great whites are as much a part of Cape Town as bergies are. A few of us are going to get chowed every few years and were going to have to live with it. (Yes, I have some tough bergies in my neighbourhood).

Instead of killing the shark, or even worse, installing shark nets (Damn the DA and their politically opportunistic ways anyway), the money could rather be spent on research to reduce the size and effectiveness of the shark repellent equipment developed by the Natal sharks board, or improving the mountain lookout systems.

Sharks make mistakes. In almost all circumstances sharks wont touch humans. In fact, there are sharks in the water when you swim almost all the time. Just because a shark makes a mistake doesn’t make him a "man killer".

Im hereby officially founding a society to protect our six meter, old lady eating, great white sharks. Im calling it SOLES for Save Old Lady Eating Sharks.

In the interest of protecting sharks (and old ladies), Im going to post some tips on reducing your chances of getting attacked by a shark.

1. Dont wear black. Great Whites have very sensitive fashion sensibilities and they abour black. They are not called "Great Whites" for nothing. That and you look like their favourite snack, seals. That said, don’t wear contrasting colours of flashy items. Told you they're sensitive.
2. Don’t play with their food. Great Whites eat on the run. That is, dont go splashing around in the water near a seal colony. It just makes you look like an easy snack. Because your in their feeding zone they might no be as picky as they might otherwise be. Dont carry dead fish around when your swimming either. Great Whites have atrocious table manners. They might try to grab it from you, and, well, mistakes happen.
3. Make eye contact. Were you to meet a shark, the polite thing to do would be to recognize its presence. Look at him, and if he approaches a hard tap on the nose would be the polite greeting. Its like: "Hi, and and Im not prey" in shark lingo. Stay calm and dont splash round. Sharks wont eat anything they don’t recognize, so they will almost always first give you a bump to see what you do.
4. Dont swim at night, and very early or late in the day. Sharks are very grumpy around that time. Surfers often get attacked at these times.

Most people who have been attacked broke one of those rules. Sharks make mistakes, but we can help them reduce the chance of it happening.

Update! Cherryflava comes up with a super idea! RFID tags those puppies!


Blogger Michelle said...

The one and only time I ever went sea-skinny-dipping was just off Big Bay late one night. The sea was unusually warm, and we couldn't resist. Next day we were back watching the sunset - and a school of gigantic sharks arrived, right where the skinny-dipping had taken place the night before....

So no, am not going swimming, clothing or no clothing, in the sea at night ever again.

18 November 2004 at 15:33  
Blogger Mshairi said...

Serious post but hilarious too :-)But who would have the courage to give a shark a tap on the nose? P.s. What are 'bergies'?

19 November 2004 at 12:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'bergie' is an insulting term for a homeless person in Cape Town, sometimes used as a term of endearment (not really) by people who don't know that it's an insult.

Regarding the shark, why would we want to reduce the effectiveness of the shark repelling equipment used by the NSB? Shome mishtake shurely?

I agree with you that there is no way we should kill a beautiful creature such as a shark. Surely this should be seen as a lesson to the (K)aapies not to encourage the sharks to come near shore/humans/boats by feeding them for greedy touristic purposes.

The LOL (little old lady) in question seems to have been a remarkable and much-loved individual, by all accounts. Pity she had to go, but it sure beats a long and lingering death followed by choking in your sleep (or worse).

Let's just notch it down as: Sharks 1 - 0 LOL

21 November 2004 at 17:07  
Blogger GS said...

That business about being especially careful at sun-up and sun-down is nothing to do with being grumpy. Fish have two types of sight - one for use during the day and one at night. In the half light of dawn and dusk, both systems are at work, so their sight, normally not good at the best of times, is at the peak of its cability. That's why it's easier to catch fish at those times - they can see the bait better.

21 November 2004 at 19:25  
Blogger Richard said...

GS: your right, sharks dont eat because they're grumpy, and interesting fact about fish eyesight.

Anonymous: 'Bergie' was used in exactly the way mentioned. Both as a term of endearment and a bit of an insult. People disparage bergies (they are a pain), but they are a part of Cape Town (a sad one, be it).

There is a difference between the homeless, drunks and street kids of Cape Town, who tend to come and go, and the bergies who have lived on the streets of Cape Town for, in many cases, generations. (And have a distinct lack of any plans of leaving, or rather a lack of any plan beyond the next papsak).

22 November 2004 at 14:14  
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Blogger Batman567 said...

its a great site (just a pity about the spammers - hehe).

i fully agree - don't kill the sharks - they were there way before we (mankind) ever were, and the sea is their domain - not ours.

as with any predator they only eat what they need to survive - ala lions, cheetahs, etc..

keep up the good work!

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