It’s Confirmed, The Chatham Seal Attack Officially Caused By Great White Shark.

Check out this Boston Globe article.

Seal death is blamed on a great white shark

Officials say case has trademarks of attack

Great white sharks are lone animals that travel 30 to 50 miles a day. They can go up to a couple of months between feedings.

The animal that was spotted eating a seal last weekend off North Beach in Chatham was probably a great white shark, state officials said yesterday

Lisa Capone, a spokeswoman for the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, said that a shark specialist for the state had examined photos of the seal’s carcass and interviewed witnesses and that the case “has the look of great white shark predation.”

She said great whites are lone animals that travel 30 to 50 miles a day and have a slow metabolism, so that they can go several weeks or even up to a couple of months between feedings.

“It’s likely far away, not going to eat again, and it was alone,” she said.

Note all the mealy passive prose in this article – “The animal that was spotted eating a seal last weekend off North Beach in Chatham was probably a great white…” oh – and according to the title it was not a Shark Attack it was a “Seal Death”.

According to eyewitnesses this shark was not just “spotted eating a seal”, this fish breached fully out of the water in a spray of froth and blood. It was a full-bore attack right out of the Discovery Channel. We don’t get that information until the very end of the article.

Skomal said what witnesses described was a textbook attack, with a sudden violent “commotion in the water that resulted in a cloud of blood spray,” followed by a period in which the shark circled before returning to eat its prey. Only the head and the fins of the seal washed ashore, which, Skomal said, was also indicative of an attack by a great white.

Consider, also, the strangely selective view of history . The article points out quite clearly (and correctly) that “The last shark-related death in New England was in 1936.” Yet more recent history – the fact this is the second seal attack by a Great White Shark in a bathing area off of that stretch of beach in two years has been forgotten already. Or at least not mentioned.

Add to this the stunning incuriosity as to why it was there in the first place. No mention of seal overpopulation problems in the area at all. Nope, nothing to see here, folks. Get your butts back into the water.

For a more thorough look at the issue, Cape Cod Times has a good piece here: Great white sharks in Cape waters?


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16 Comments

  1. Cam from Australia
    Posted August 12, 2007 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    Sharks in Australia don’t worry me.
    I live pretty much right on the beach… have done most of my life, and I swim regularly without fear of a shark attack.
    See, we have lots of Asians in Australia, and sharks prefer them, because they are more tender, spicy morsels for a big shark to bite.
    Say for instance, you’re swimming at Frankston beach (where I live) and just near you, there’s an Asian called Wok Fuk Hong. Swimming just near him, is his friend Dim Sim Wok. And right behind them, is Bog Cok Suk.
    Now, as they flap their little asian arms and legs around in the water, they get closer to each other and notice a big Noah’s Ark (shark).
    Lik My Dik (because thats what i said before) screams to Fuk My Tit (I said that too, don’t mess me around here) that they better make shark fin soup.
    My Nob Leak (that was the first Asian) starts swimming like fuck.
    Then, the big shark says “Oooh…. look, an Asian! I think I’ll fuckin bite him!”
    Because that’s what big sharks do.
    I just drink my beer, and watch with indifference.
    Because that’s what Australian’s do.
    I hope I have cleared this up for you.

    • Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      I was cruising the web on shark activity in Vic and unfortunately stumbled upon this blog – especially the stupid bigotry of Cam. Clearly this bloke is a relic from the “white Australia” era or at least poisoned by it.

      I’d just like to note that no, Australians are not represented by the idiotic nonsense of this poor character. Most Aussies may hear him shooting his mouth off in some pub, shake their heads in disgust and distance themselves from him.

      I’m thankful he is part of a minority of racist morons.

  2. Posted August 12, 2007 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    yes crystal clear cam, thanks!

  3. rune
    Posted August 13, 2007 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Now THIS is why I read blogs like the Beasts. You just aren’t going to get that on the Discovery channel.

  4. Posted August 13, 2007 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    Yeah rune

    cam has a way with words. It must be the Australian in him.

  5. Caz
    Posted August 13, 2007 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Sorry, I’m just not understanding the over-the-top shock and awe with all of these posts.

    Sharks eat seals, that’s quite a normal thing; they don’t use a knife and fork, nor chew each bite 20 times either, which for a shark, is also perfectly in keeping with their normal behavior.

    You mentioned on a previous post that there are things that can be done to prevent the sharks from attacking seals in bathing ares, like controlling the seal population, which would suggest that you want to kill off seals (why not let the sharks, they seem better suited to the task), which is bizarre, since the sharks would still find plenty of members of a reduced seal population and eat them (hey, sharks aren’t stupid). So, you would “reduce the population” (kill seals), for no useful purpose.

    The “solution”, regardless of however you intend to enact it, would also suggest that humans are too stupid to take a bit of care for a short and predictable period of time each year.

    When humans go into the ocean, they are not in human territory; trying to make it such is mindless. The ocean is the shark’s home, not ours; we are the intruders.

    We have sharks here, and those sharks sometimes take a bite out of someone, sometimes resulting in death. Yep, it happens. No one gets hysterical about it.

    Your sharks are only eating seals; what’s the problem with you folk?

  6. Posted August 13, 2007 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Caz,

    An event like this is exciting for us because it’s unusual. White sharks wacking seals in a bathing area may happen routinely in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, but not here. Moreover – we know why it’s happening: the seal population is way out of control off The Cape. This excess of pinnipeds is causing all kinds of other problems related to fishing, water cleanliness and navigation and is now also luring some serious predators to our beaches. But nothing can be done about it now thanks to a moratorium established under the Marine Mammals Protection Act of 1972. However that moratorium can be lifted if the MMC chooses to.

    This Act was needed in 1972 because Marine Mammals were in danger. Seal populations off the New England Coast had crashed. But since then they have recovered dramatically – to the point of overpopulation. This laizzes-faire approach to game management is irresponsible. We manage other wildlife populations (successfully), why not seals too?

    As for whether a reduced seal herd would make a difference related to the concentration of White Sharks off our beaches, we have history on our side – before the seal population went nuclear, attacks in the bathing areas of our beaches were unheard of.

    Finally, the “trespasser” argument is rank anthropomorphism. The ocean is a large body of water in which creatures reside. Sometimes these creatures include human beings. We are not “intruders” at all, unless we choose to call ourselves that, because the fish don’t see it that way. And the Beast is always bemused by this “let em eat a few of us once in a while – we deserve it because we’re intruding” argument because it runs so counter to what we believe and practice in every other area of endeavor: safety. Does your coffee cup have a label on it saying “WARNING – HOT LIQUID”? How about your bleach bottle: “DO NOT DRINK”. You have seat belt laws? The Beast can tell you from experience in industry that current safety thinking is ALL accidents and injuries are preventable. We don’t accept that a few workers will inevitably get maimed no matter what we do so why try?

  7. Caz
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    I didn’t suggest that people “deserve” to be eaten by sharks.

    The ocean is not human habitat: fact.

    Humans sometimes get bitten by sharks: fact.

    Try to distinguish between habitat and your natural inclination to believe that the whole of nature has been tamed and controlled by mankind.

    (Climate control anyone? Anyone?)

    People are at their dumbest and most destructive when they believe they can manipulate what little is left of the natural world, without any unintended consequences.

    The appearance of sharks is undoubtedly an unintended consequence of some other human intervention, somewhere along the line. (And it was also likely entirely foreseeable, if only anyone had bothered to use their brain. That’s almost always the case.)

    “All accidents and injuries are preventable”.

    You seriously need to go and talk to an actuary, or two, or three, or four.

  8. Posted August 14, 2007 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    The oceans have been over-fished to the point where sharks have only a fraction of the food they once did.

    Why would sharks go after an overpopulated seal colony just because their traditional ocean food supply has been destroyed by commercial fishing?

    cl

  9. Tom B.
    Posted August 14, 2007 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I agree with Caz. The website is not resorting to fact but, instead, they are inflaming the situation with sensationalism. New England waters are Great White territory. It is also seal territory. There is a connection. This is nature. And when nature doesn’t fit into a tidy litte, safe package that humans like, many of them panic.

    If you are afraid of being attacked by a shark, don’t go in the ocean. It’s as simple as that.

    The internet is free and you can post what you want on your website. But you lose all credibility when you resort to childish, subjective posts.

  10. rune
    Posted August 15, 2007 at 2:00 am | Permalink

    Tom, I found the above post to be neither childish, nor subjective. The fact is that a fucking big shark ate some seals, and that some of local merchants and “authorities” seemed to want to discount that fact.
    The host’s credibility remains intact. Unlike Fuk My Tit’s appendages.

  11. JOhnson
    Posted August 15, 2007 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Shark attacks on seals make me want to poop.

  12. Posted August 18, 2007 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    Black Bean Seal, Oriental style, simple rocks!

  13. jaylon
    Posted October 31, 2008 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    this is stupid.

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  15. Posted April 21, 2013 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    There is definately a great deal to know about this subject.
    I like all the points you’ve made.


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