Thursday, April 23, 2015

Giant Shark scare in the UK

In another stellar piece of journalism (sharkasm) intended, the Daily Star writes "Jaws attack: Terror after GIANT SHARKS spotted circling the coast of England"

Wow, someone got attacked by a giant shark! Did they survive? What kind of a shark was it?
The article states: "HOLIDAYMAKERS have been placed on alert as huge sharks hit British shores thanks to the recent hot weather.

Still, no mention of what happened. So what the heck is going on?

OK, we are getting somewhere. Here is what happened: "The basking sharks, which can grow up to 26ft long, have been spotted off beaches in many of the country's holiday hotspots.
As if that wasn't terrifying enough – thousands of jellyfish have also been spotted in the waves."

The caption for the picture below read: "HORROR: The terrifying sharks – which can grow up to 26ft – have started circling shallow water around the UK [AK Wildlife Cruises]"

Wait, did I miss something? Where is the attack? What is terrifying about a basking shark?
The article goes on to say: "Ross Wheeler of AK Wildlife Cruises in Falmouth, Cornwall, captured incredible footage of the first sighting of a shark in UK waters."We had two basking sharks – our first for the season – thousands of barrel jellyfish, 11 common dolphin and five harbour porpoise" he said."

Ah, I see. They are describing some people going on a wildlife cruise and encountering a completely harmless basking shark. The "reporter" mistakenly wrote the wrong headline. He really meant to say: "Tourists are excited about encountering gentle giant" or "Lucky tourists encounter gentle giant and friendly dolphins off the UK coast". Easy mistake to make (sharkasm) intended.

Later on the article correctly mentions: "But the sighting isn't likely to mean a repeat of horrific scenes from 1975 thriller Jaws - the basking sharks are harmless but have been lured to the Cornish coastline earlier than normal.
They swim around with their gaping jaws open to swallow tiny plankton, their main food source."

So the reporter actually knew that there was no attack and the sharks are harmless plankton eaters, which of course didn't stop him from making up a completely fictitious and sensationalistic headline. It's not like the sharks don't have it hard enough already, with overfishing and being killed for their fins. I really wish the media would stop making it worse by portraying even the most harmless sharks as terrifying monsters.

Martin Graf
CEO Shark Diver 

About Shark Diver. As a global leader in commercial shark diving and conservation initiatives Shark Diver has spent the past decade engaged for sharks around the world. Our blog highlights all aspects of both of these dynamic and shifting worlds. You can reach us directly at

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