Thursday, July 12, 2007

Shark warning issued

The Joongang Ilbo has a shark warning up. The warning is mostly for the South and West Seas although one large shark was caught off of Kyeongsang Buk Province.

I've swam with sharks and once felt more than a little nervous about my situation. Nothing bad or even really threatening happened..oh, all right, I'll tell my story:

I'm a great swimmer. I'm not bragging exactly; I trained for fifteen years and put the time and effort in. After university, my decline started.

My story takes place in Australia. It was a night dive. Earlier that day, I had had trouble descending; my ears didn't adjust to the pressure well and that was a first - I used to dive at full speed. On this dive, my partner pulled ahead and I suffered a leg cramp. Working through the pain, I caught up to him and tapped him. He looked at me, didn't see anything wrong and swam off again. For the first time in my life, I had trouble catching up to a dive partner.

Soon after, we prepared to surface. Australia, or the province we were in, required decompression stops just in case. There we were, sitting five metres under the dive boat, in a black sea and expected to remain for several minutes. Just at the edge of our lights, I could see shark eyes glittering and disappearing, glittering and disappearing.

Five minutes later, we got out.

I guess its not a thrilling story. I guess my point is, even I, a strong and knowledgeable swimmer, sometimes get the willies when shore is more than a minute away. The warning is not for my area, but I will be scanning a little more often and staying closer to shore than previously, I am sure.


riokid56 said...


They should issue a "Human Warning" for the miserable, beleaguered, shark population.

Every year, up to a million sharks are killed by humans, some for the hell of it, some for food, some simply for their fins. They are long-lined, pulled aboard, and a flensing knife makes short shrift of the fins and tails, which are dried and sent to Hong Kong. They often end up back in Korea, in the form of "Shark's Fin Soup." Many of the Chinese restaurants here in Donghae (and throughout Korea) sell Shark's Fin Soup. You have the right to refuse it. I'm hoping you have the moral compass to do so.


kwandongbrian said...

Yank Abroad (riokid),

I think Shark's Fin Soup is somewhat pricey. I don't expect to buy it, nor have it offered so I can refuse it. Still, if the situation comes up, I have to thank you for refreshing my memory on the subject.

I am currently teaching ecology at a camp and have suggested students look at loss of top predators, like sharks, from ecosystems. I think one student is doing a report on the subject.