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Shaaaaarks!

If you missed the recent Twitter thread I wrote on sharks in the North Sea, you’re in luck! This is the slightly ‘extended’ version of what happened on Twitter!

It won’t be long until I’ll be in the North Sea floating alone in a raft with only my wits, water and a rescue beacon for the demo mission called  #OperationSharkBait in operation with @SARGalileo.  (You can follow them and the hashtag on Twitter.) If it all goes well, I’ll be pulled out of the water like batman below. If it doesn’t work, well… there’s a reason why it’s called #OperationSharkBait.

Whilst thinking all about the North Sea, that got me thinking: Um guys… are there any Sharks?  The short answer is.  Yes. There are sharks in the North Sea and they are the majestic misunderstood creatures of the deep with pointy and continually replaced teeth.  (Seriously – they continuously generate more teeth after they lose the first ones)

Now, the North Sea is a pretty wild and wonderful place bordered by England, Scotland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and France.

So, what kind of sharks will be there whilst I’m floating around during #OperationSharkbait? This is what I was wondering: Are there sharks in the North Sea and what kind are there?

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According to my research, I found three main types of sharks in the North sea.  There is the Dogfish, the Catshark and the Smooth Hound.  And, with names like that… are they even remotely dangerous? Two are named after dogs and one is named after a cat.

They don’t even look scary.  They look quite harmless and nothing like what I’ve seen in the movie, Jaws.  So what would be the worst thing I may have to encounter that’s shark related?  Well, this:

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Yeah… pretty scary…..  NOT.  Also in the ‘not so scary’ category goes to the Basking Shark! These badass gaping mouth ‘FEEED MEEEEEer’s’ sometimes get lost and wander into the waters of the North Sea.  There have only been five official sightings ever reported off the coast of Belgium. 6

They’re really harmless.  They eat the little things but I can only imagine having my foot kinda hooked in their mouth and dragged along for the ride.

Here’s a great story of one spotted off the coast of West Cork, Ireland… and tell you what. This Basking Shark is MASSIVE!west-cork-basking-shark-video-min

So let’s get a little bit serious about sharks.  Bottom line: They’re amazing – even the scary ones with the big teeth.  I always thought that when you enter the ocean, you’re in their house.  So, yes, there is potential of a shark attack but a SHARK ATTACK IS INCREDIBLY RARE.  Seriously.  We’re talking rare AF.
There’s also a MASSIVE problem with shark finning.  This is where they catch a shark and remove the fins and then THROW THE SHARK BACK INTO THE WATER.  The shark dies a really painful slow death because it cant move on its own.  It’s got no fins.
Shark fins are pure cartilage and there’s absolutely NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE IN SHARK FINS.  So, everything you hear about shark fin soup and the ‘beneficial properties’ is a load of bunk.  Shark fins are made up of the same stuff as cow or human cartilage so if you’re having shark fin soup. So, you’re not really getting anything special – consuming shark fin soup is just contributing to a lot of pain, suffering and endangerment to sharks.  Click here to read more about the BS magic junk regarding shark fin soup.
Now, the great news is, Shark finning is totally BANNED by Europe.  There’s been a concert action of the European Union to protect sharks! (GO EU!)
Ok, so let’s sum this up.  Yes, it’s scary not to know what’s in the ocean.  Sharks are amazing and shouldn’t be feared.  You actually have more of a chance of dying from sun exposure than an actual shark attack.  Check out this chart from the National Safety Council. Screen Shot 2019-08-01 at 1.13.57 pm.png
So my take-home points are this.  Chill.  Sharks are cool.  Watch more films like Sharknado.  It’s rare AF you’ll be eaten by a shark and if you’re still freaked out, find a beach that is protected with a net.

taraustralis View All

An Aussie girl gone walkabout in the great big world!

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