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When is a shark attack not an attack? | Environment

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When is a shark attack not an attack?
Environment, News
When is a shark attack not an attack?

Sarasota, Florida - The American Elsasmobranch Society (yes, that's a mouthful for the leading society of shark researchers) is urging media outlets to update their guidelines for reporting on shark-human interactions.

The AES says not every brush with a shark is an "attack".  Robert Hueter, Director of the Center for Shark Research at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota supports the effort. "When we call every incident between a shark and a human an 'attack', regardless of the size of the shark or the outcome, we mislead the public and misinform them about the actual risks involved," Hueter stated in a release from the AES.

The AES recommends the following guidelines:

  • Shark sightings: cases where sharks are sighted closed to people but there is no injury
  • Shark encounters: cases where sharks make contact with surfboards, kayaks, boats and other watercraft but there is no injury
  • Shark bites: cases where shark bites occur and the injuries are non-fatal
  • Fatal shark bites: cases where shark 
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