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 70: Matawan incidents–a review

A brief summary is given on the incident series that took place in a river called Matawan in July of 1916.


Episode 69: Bodily fluids won't work to attract sharks

For way too long the assumption was upheld that human blood is an attractant for sharks. If that would be the case, we would have seen many more incidents, especially after ship disasters. Likewise human urine is likely nothing that a shark would excite.


Episode 68: Lowering pectoral fins is not a threat display

The lowering of pectoral fins has different meanings than being a threat display. Here, the two main functions are explained and discussed in the respective scenarios.


Episode 67: Finning, a non curable disease if...

We need to change our tunes when it comes to the finning of sharks. Our efforts are not harsh enough to have an impact. We need to rethink how to solve this problem since current approaches won't work. If we want to survive, we have to consider more drastic steps.


Episode 66: Target practice, using a substitute for seals

When a white shark is not yet able to go after seals, it may start to hone its skills on substitutes, like birds, and turtles. However, a small percentage of surfer incidents also suggest that target practice might have been the motivation for a white shark to approach and bite.


Episode 65: Stress as a motivator to bite

Although it is common knowledge that a shark can be stressed, its normal reaction to defuse the situation it is in with a person is to look for an escape route. Biting is always the last resort. But should indeed a bite occur (without knowing the immediate situation leading to the bite), its wound picture can also resemble a competition bite.


Episode 64: Exploration until it bites

The most common motivation to bite a person is exploration. Sharks don't know what we are, and so on very, very rare occasions grab us. Due to this very careful holding with their jaws, the wounds are mostly superficial as long as the person does not pull his/her arm or leg out of the shark's mouth. Such a reaction always leads to a much worse secondary wound.


Episode 63: Why "sneak attacks" do not exist

One of the many erroneous informations about sharks is the so called "sneak attack." A relic from the early days of shark research, where the experts didn't swim with sharks yet in order to understand them since they basically shared the fear of the general public. Due to that their mostly theortical ideas of how bites manifest themselves, was pure nonsense.


Episode 62: "Bump & bite" does not happen

Sharks have been described as rather instinct driven animals, ignoring that there is a free will among them. This is especially true when it comes to biting humans and their motivations behind it. "Bump & bite" is one of these early but erroneous description of how sharks bite people.


Episode 61: Why run after a hit?

One of the common description of an incident with a shark is called "hit and run." As the notion implies the shark leaves the area after its bite, the hit. There is no reason for a shark to back off or even take off. In this episode I highlight some of the reasons why "hit and run" is incorrect.