And our human race yet again baffles me. Call it amazing, call it insane — this recent shark-human interaction is one more in a growing trend of humans doing nonsensical things while engaging with one of most feared and misunderstood animals on the planet, let alone the ocean.
There was the shark “attack” at Manhattan Pier, which sparked an outrage in the local community, and left the victim more confused than anything. And we must not forget about the shark cull, which most concluded made very little sense. Need more crazy? How about a popular activist faking a shark attack. Yep, that actually happened. Now we have this Floridian figuring that the easiest way to reel in a five-foot shark was to jump in the water with it and go for the ol’ bear hug catch. At the notorious Jupiter Inlet no less. Your grandfather never told you about the bear hug catch? Oh, that’s right — ’cause the greatest generation didn’t mess around with such foolishness.
Now, I’m not saying this kid didn’t get the most of his catch. It’s somewhat cool to see a person carrying a shark like an overgrown lab. And he has quite the story to tell his grandkids, with a couple pictures as insurance for any future naysayers of this fish tale. Additionally, for the next two or three weeks, he’ll be a local celebrity with news stations and morning programs knocking at his door for an exclusive interview, the same exclusive interview everyone else tapes and shows.
The reason I’m annoyed is that it apparently was completely avoidable and all the more unnecessary. To me, this further exemplified the egregious lack of appreciation we have for the animals. And let us consider a less fortunate outcome where the shark got a little footing (so to speak) and lunged for the fisherman, landing a bite. Sure, most of the viewers would eventually look at the video and see that the angler was to blame, but ultimately it would perpetuate fear, from the injuries or whatever took. Yes, I’m aware that I sound like a conspiracy theorist shouting at the moon. But I feel like these small blips eventually amount to a lot of misleading statistics that result in countries implementing outrageous programs, such as the shark cull.