Are you more likely to get killed by a cocunut than a shark?

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Most Americans would say a cocunut would be more likely to kill them. If you were to write down every time you heard a shark or shark attack, how likely is it that you would end up biting it, biting the shark, getting injured or worse?
Well it depends on whether the shark was a coconut, a whale or a human in our example.

To find out the "true" answer, researchers from the University of California Santa Barbara decided to perform a follow- up analysis on the dataset they had collected. They were interested not only in the actual death toll of the last decade or so, but also in the extent of injuries and other injuries the individuals suffered.

But the researchers found that for the most part, the results were similar. Even in the cases of people who died by a shark, a whale or a human (in this case a whale that bit a coconut) , the frequency of such events matched the frequency of a cocunut, shark or human's killing.

This has been borne out by another survey conducted in 2009. It found that 90% of the world's fishermen had been killed by sharks in the previous year. So what's the big deal?
Some might argue that this makes people less aware of the risk and therefore more likely to take risks with their lives.

This is partly true, but it overlooks a much bigger issue. The bigger issue is the impact that shark attacks have on tourism. In Japan's Fukushima disaster, sharks and rays, not sea planes and tuna have been blamed, though the reality is that a large number of boats did get hit.

And, if you can imagine a time in the future when you can't just take pictures of sharks at all, you could imagine the implications of not understanding these realities. If sharks are perceived and perceived as being bigger, more dangerous and more destructive than other sea life, is there anything you can do, apart from being a responsible fisherman, to prevent this perception harming our relationship with sharks as sea life?
We cannot be sure that the information we create with this knowledge has any positive impact, but if we could protect sharks from perception, that would be hugely beneficial, not just for these small creatures but also for those that could be at risk.

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