Shark! Surfers Want to Save Them, Too

On Aug. 8, 2015, Dustin McCaslin, a California resident, flew his drone over Pismo Beach in hopes of capturing some drone footage. Instead, he ended up recording what could have been the end to many surfers’ lives that day—a shark.

Sharks and Surfers in the US

Approximately 2.4 million Americans engage in the sport of surfing. The shark, in this instance, swam within feet of surfers. “He [McCaslin] initially thought it was seaweed, but the object turned out to be a shark,” according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

Stock image of Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvier)

Attacked at Sea

13 shark attack cases have been reported in the U.S. so far this year. “A 12-year-old girl had her arm and part of her leg bitten off. The other victim, 16-year-old Hunter Treschl, had his arm amputated,” said Nick Harmsen, North American News Correspondent.

Shark attacks have not only increased in the U.S., but all over the world. On August 11, 2015 Réunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean hundreds of people gathered on a beach in remembrance of a 13-year-old surfer who was killed by a shark.

“The problem is sharks. The island has been besieged by them, and at least 18 people have been attacked and seven have been killed since 2011,” said Marc Santora, writer for the New York Times, “The government responded in 2013 with a controversial ban on nearly all surfing and swimming.” Réunion is among one of the only locations in the world that forbids its citizens from entering the ocean.

Save the Sharks

Despite the danger of surfing, many surfers support shark life and the progression of it. American surfers are not encouraging the extinction of sharks but seeking a solution where both surfers and sharks can live safely and comfortably. Mike Coots, a surfer, managed to save himself after being attacked by a shark and losing his leg. “I have no animosity toward sharks or regrets from that day. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Coots, “That’s just what sharks do. They don’t have hands to test if it’s something to eat or not. They just have their teeth. We’re in their environment.”

Sharks, it’s all about the beauty of the world. Atmoph gets it!: