Shark Podcasts

The weekly podcasts deal with an array of questions revolving around sharks. A critical look is given from the viewpoint of an experimental shark behaviorist, conservationist, and professional educator to all aspects around them.

Episode 40: Moon cycles, weather systems and all that jazz

When it comes to shark bites, a variety of parameters have been mentioned that may play a role in it. It was said in the past that e.g. full and new moon increases shark bites. There is no correlation between moon cycle and shark bites, as our research showed. But then there are air pressure changes, weather fronts, rain etc to name a few meteorological parameters that could play a role, as goes for low or high water salinity, freshwater influence and so on. Many of these parameters could influence the outcome of a shark interaction but we often lack hard data since conditions often quickly chance after a bite and are also not easy to be collected fromt the times prior to the event.

Episode 39: Media vendetta against sharks

Quite often when sharks are mentioned on TV, the print media or on the air, they are hardly presented in a flattering manner but rather portrait as dangerous, unpredictable and instinct driven. However, these attributes are incorrect. That begs the question why the true nature of these animals is hardly mentioned in the media. A main reason is that producers, journalists and radio hosts often fail doing their reseach on the subject but follow their initial opinion they had before starting their projects. And it is this attitude that prevents people who watch TV, read the paper or listen to a radio show from getting the true picture about this incredible animals.

Episode 38: About the wrong shark conservation groups

When it comes to sharks, plenty organisations have one thing in common, they pretend. They claim this or that but once you start digging you realize that they don't really do anything. Just writing about the plight of sharks and point a finger at a person or a group of people who contribute to the devastation of sharks does not qualify to be an activist group. It is one thing to write about a cause, and quite another to stand up and actually fight the cause right where it happens. If all these groups who claim to be shark activists would actually live up to the way they see themselves, we probably would not be where we are right now.


Episode 37: Neither the very shark nor the very situation exist

We often hear "sharks do this" or "sharks do that" but the very shark does not exist. There is no shark out there that would reflect the behavior or character trait of an entire species or even the entire group of shark species. Every shark is unique, represents an individual that thinks and acts in a distinctive manner, even in seemingly the same situation. As much as the very shark does not exist, the same is true for a situation. No situation is the same, even if identical parameters seem to influence the scenario a shark is in with a person. Most of the time, people are not aware of the slight chances that may happen during the seemingly same situation. It is paramount to understand that one has to treat every shark as unique, and always rejudge the situation when another shark pops up. 


Episode 36: Shark encounter at night without a flashlight?

It is every boater's nightmare to get shipwrecked, spending the night in the water, knowing that sharks are close by. Interacting with sharks during the night without a flashlight is in its infancy when it comes to tailored experiments. So we hardly know anything. Becaus boaters go get shipwrecked, people fall over board etc it is crucial to know more about this type of scenario, and how to act/react.

Episode 35: When do sharks register what?

There are plenty of diagrams in shark books and on the internet depicting when what sensory organ is used by a shark. These rather straight forward drawings have one thing in common: they are not correct. Here, we go through the different sensory organs and their potential reach with emphasis on their more likely use in nature.

Episode 34: All species are not bulls, tigers and whites

When it comes to the general image of sharks, bulls, tigers and whites are the most commonly featured ones. However, their behavior and being is by far not what the media portraits but since this wrongful image is barely questioned, all shark species are seen along these lines. The media-created shark does not exist but all of them suffer due to this wrongful image.

Episode 33: About the pros and cons of shark feeding

Worldwide, there are about 380 dive operators in close to 30 countries that offer shark diving. Although there are only a few techniques to bring in the sharks, most of the feeding forms should not be allowed. In this episode I discuss a few of the more known techniques and highlight some of their pros and cons.

Episode 32: On the pros and cons of sharks in aquariums

There are a lot of pros and cons when it comes to the display of sharks in aquariums. However, by offering the residing sharks the most space possible, combined with a balanced diet and overall care, aquariums are an essential tool in the education of the general public about the plight of sharks. In a time where the populations of sharks dwindle due to overfishing, finning and pollution, it is necessary to raise awareness in any way possible, as long as the individual animal on display is not suffering.

Episode 31: On the threat display in sharks.

Although everybody seems to know that lowered pectorals fins in sharks reflect a threat display, this not the case. In this episode I discuss some of the wrongful assumptions when it comes to these displays.