Australia rebrands shark attacks as ‘negative encounters’ and ‘bites’

·1-min read
A total of 57 confirmed and unprovoked shark bites and 39 provoked bites took place on humans last year (Alex Steyn/Unsplash)
A total of 57 confirmed and unprovoked shark bites and 39 provoked bites took place on humans last year (Alex Steyn/Unsplash)

Australia has rebranded shark attacks “negative encounters” to give the predators an image overhaul.

Scientists hope the move will improve perceptions of the animal and stop people from being scared to go to the beach.

Queensland and New South Wales will change the way they describe incidents where a shark is involved and the states will now use “bites” instead of “attack.”

Shark researcher Dr Leonardo Guida told The Sydney Morning Herald the move would help “dispel inherent assumptions that sharks are ravenous, mindless, man-eating monsters”.

He also argued by changing the language used, the public could begin to better understand how sharks behave.

Nathan Hart, an associate professor at Macquarie University, echoed Dr Guida’s views and said: “Sharks don’t have hands so, if they want to explore something, they mouth it... Very rarely are humans consumed by sharks.”

The change in terminology comes despite the number of attacks that have taken place earlier this week across the globe.

In Australia, a surfer was rushed to the hospital after a “bite” from a shark at Crescent Head.

A total of 57 confirmed and unprovoked shark bites and 39 provoked bites took place on humans last year.

Out of 18 unprovoked bites reported in Australia, six of them were fatal, according to the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida.

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