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Sharks Targeting Humans

Vic Hislop became famous when he landed the world's largest known Great White Shark. Photo courtesy Vic Hislop.



"The latest victim, board surfer David Lillenfeld, had his leg bitten off by a protected shark. No one was protecting David. Bloody bait in the water to attract man-eating sharks has reached the point where Great Whites now hunt humans," Vic Hisloop, who caught world's largest Shark..

By Ron Laytner
Copyright 2012
Edit International

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – The worlds greatest shark hunter says swimmers are being devoured by Great White Sharks all over the world because humans are joining the ocean killer’s food chain.

More than one half a million people drown around the world each year. Thousands of their bodies are not recovered.

Vic Hislop, 60, who has hunted and slain thousands of sharks in his forty year career believes thousands of missing drowning victims actually die of shark attacks.

Many people who drown disappear off Australia's 9000 sandy beaches and he accuses its government of covering up the attacks to protect tourism.

Hislop became world famous in 1985 when he caught the biggest shark recorded, a twenty-one foot, eight inch long Great White weighing over five thousand pounds. The historic photograph of Hislop and his bloodied shark drove thousands of swimmers out of the water.

An expert on shark behavior, Hislop says, “At least a hundred swimmers disappear every year here and their bodies are never found. Many have been eaten. I’ve often caught sharks and removed human hands and feet from their stomachs. I even found a human foot still in its sandal.”

It is a lot more dangerous for swimmers and divers just before dark said Hislop. Sharks feel a lot more secure in dirty water or in darkness and they will attack much quicker….

The government of Australia lists Great White Sharks as a protected species and it’s new laws have effectively put shark hunters like Vic Hislop out of business. Killers of sharks face up to two years in prison and the equivalent of a US $48 thousand dollar fine.

Australian records lists 88 tourists from 12 countries drowned in Australia between 1992 and 1997. Thirty-eight of these tourists came from Europe, including 15 from the UK and 10 from Germany; 35 were from Asia including 17 from Japan while 7 were Americans.

Hislop maintains many of the missing did not drown but were devoured by Great Whites and other sharks.

“Every now and then a human washes up bitten in half,” he says. “But the Australian government refuses to tie them to the disappearances. When you add up the numbers it’s not hard to see what’s happening.”

Vic Hislop made a career of hunting down sharks that had become man-eaters, but now that Great White Sharks are protected, he says there is nothing to stop them from feeding on humans.

Hislop explains that from the time they are little sharks spend their entire life looking for other animals in trouble. “They’ll follow the blood scent and vibrations from an injured whale along currents until they find the source and rip the whale apart. That’s how sharks live.”

When people put down shark cages for their thrill-seeking clients some of the burley (blood and cut up fish bait and meat) travels up to 40 kilometers away, say Hislop. “These people would like you to think they are conservationists because they don’t kill sharks – but they are using thousands of edible fish as shark bait.”

He adds, “Sharks pick up the scent, become aroused and are ready to eat by the time they reach the cage containing a human. If the cages were not strongly made, or fell off to the bottom, those stupid people would be goners in seconds. Meanwhile the sharks are not killed after the event. They are simply being trained to hunt humans.”

People do not realize how often big sharks go past them while they are swimming. “There are monsters out there. I’ve caught Great White Sharks over 20 feet long and they have bite marks on them that make them look like babies – the shark that bit them was probably 35 foot long and weighing eight or nine tons.”

In warm areas like Florida thousands of sharks line up along beaches not far from swimmers. They are simply feeding on small fish and not interested in anything else. If somebody swam into those sharks they’d be safe, says the shark hunter. There are 350 species of sharks, but only four are dangerous: the Great White, Hammer Head, Tiger and Bull shark.

In 1937 the Australian government set out its first shark nets along the coasts after fatal shark attacks rose to record numbers in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

In the past 40 years there has only been one officially recorded fatal shark attack at the 134 beaches protected by shark nets. Yet there have been 15 deaths in South Australia, 12 in Western Australia, and 7 in Victoria — all states that lack shark nets along their beaches.

“But it’s just a false sense of security for tourism,” says Hislop. “The nets are way out and they don’t even go all the way to the bottom. And they’re staggered, you might have two kilometers of beach where people swim and the net will only be 150 meters long.”

Hislop claims that the nets are also full of holes. “Every two weeks government repair boats pull the nets in with holes in them that you could drive a train through. Those holes are made by Great Whites that have learned to feed off dolphins and sting-rays trapped in the nets.” Dangerous sharks may actually be attracted closer to swimmers by the very nets meant to keep sharks away.

Sharks are near most ocean access countries. Hislop says big sharks swim in cold waters off New York all the time and also on the northwest coast of America. They travel about 40 miles each day and are in most oceans of the world, preferring cold water.

He says the movie Jaws is supposed to have resulted in thousands of sharks being killed “but that is not true. The author of Jaws must have done a lot of research. Because that is how sharks work.

“The only thing that saves people from being attacked is what I call Shark hesitation. We are not natural to sharks – we are still foreign at this stage. But once they attack people in cages their hesitation is gone. They are using thousands of sharks now world-wide to do this.”

He explains, “They are putting chain-mail armored tourists down in big pools filled with sharks. That’s all right because those sharks are prisoners. But if they are ever set free they will become a menace.”

Sharks are perfect killers. They grab, rip and then swim in a big circle and wait for their prey to bleed out. They tear baby dolphins off their mothers and eat them while they are being born.

Even a dead shark can be dangerous. “If you put your hand in their mouth or touch their throat they can still snap. It’s a nerve reaction. Their brain is only as big as one half of one of their eyes. They don’t have a nervous system as we know it. Everything they do is by instinct.”

In recent years people have been attacked in front of dozens of witnesses. “It’s highly unusual,” said John West, curator of the Australian Shark Attack File. “I can’t recall anything like this ever happening before.”

Hislop blames killer sharks coming inshore on commercial fishing. “We’ve thinned out fish all over the world using nets. When fishermen take in 5000 tuna they are seriously depleting the ocean of shark food."

Hislop blames commercial film makers in Australia with teaching sharks to eat humans. He says commercial film-makers have tried for years to get footage of Great White Sharks by filling wet suits full of fish and nailing them to surf-boards so sharks would attack them on camera.. They also film Great Whites trying to get at people in shark cages”

“These people should be in jail, make no mistake,” says Hislop. “They are training sharks to eat people.”

There is a growing crusade around the world to protect sharks. One advocate is University of Miami Marine Biology Professor Dr. Samuel Gruber who says, “For every fatal human shark attack one million sharks world-wide die in the following hysteria.”

Hislop says, "In Florida, until they stopped it, they took people down to feed sharks just for thrills. Now those big sharks are waiting, expecting people to feed them.

"You feed them out on a reef and then one day you go out with your kids to do some spear fishing or take photos and those sharks show up expecting to get fed. Its shark and human interaction that we don’t need."

Hislop claims the sharks have been protected for all the wrong reasons. “Dolphins, sea turtles and millions of creatures out there that we love need our protection. But Great White Sharks need no protection. They are at the top of the food chain. They can live to be one hundred years old and eat a few dolphins and sea turtles every week. “If a conservationist killed just one Great White Shark and then retired, he would do more good for dolphins and sea turtles than he could have done in his entire career.”

The shark hunter says there is so much fear about sharks that the few people who survive attacks try to act brave when they are interviewed. “They will say they faced the shark and punched it in the eye making it retreat.

“Don’t ever believe you can defend yourself in a shark attack. When a shark grabs you its force and power is out of this world. Your body shuts down. It’s like a bull dozer running over you.

“You punch a shark in the head and your bones will be showing on your knuckles. That is how rough the shark’s skin is – it’s the roughest sand-paper anyone has ever seen.”

He admits, “It’s true big sharks have only one vulnerable spot – their eye. But they have a big thick nictitating membrane that covers it. Call it a third eyelid. That membrane is tougher than their skin and a person could not even stick a knife in it.”

The shark hunter says there is a pattern in Australia to cover up shark attacks.

“After a shark attack a squad goes to victims’ families before they talk to the news media. They say you need counseling because you’ve just seen your husband killed by a shark. They brain wash you in your weak moment. They say your husband died a hero and would not want his death to cause the wiping out of this endangered species.

“And those people go on TV and say that it wasn’t the sharks fault, my husband wouldn’t blame the shark,” says Hislop. “You ask the husband while the shark’s got a hold of him around the waist taking his life away and you’d see what he says about the shark!”

And what about the families whose loved ones are never seen again?

”It’s very hard. For them there is no closure. No body is ever found. They are doing it all wrong. Shark Hunters should be on the scene immediately,” says Hislop.

“I was called into Hong Kong,” he recalls. “Every year the same shark would kill a few people at one beach one day, then the next day he’d take a few at the next beach, then the next beach.

"The same shark killed 23 people in one year until it vanished into the waters off mainland China. We never caught him. He's still out there somewhere.

“Once a shark has tasted humans he will attack over and over again. A shark has a very small brain but he never forgets."

By Ron Laytner
Copyright 2011
Edit International

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