April 17, 2017
James Sulikowski, Ph.D., University of New England professor of Marine Sciences, was interviewed by Travel and Leisure magazine about shark attacks.
The article, titled, “Why We’re Afraid of Shark Attacks (But Probably Shouldn’t Be)” gives historical context to humans’ fear of sharks, dating back to a series of shark attacks in New Jersey in 1916. The article explains the risk analysis that takes place in the brain when people think about sharks, and why there is often irrational fear of the animals.
Sulikowski explained that a fear of sharks is not only irrational, it can be dangerous because that fear can lead to a bad reputation for sharks and reduced effort to conserve the species.
“Most people don’t understand sharks are like us, they grow slowly, live long lives and have very few offspring, so they’re very susceptible to fishing pressure,” he said. “We still need to keep getting the importance of sharks out because every time there’s a shark attack, everyone freaks out.”
To learn more about the University of New England’s Department of Marine Sciences visit www.une.edu/cas/marine
To learn more about the University of New England’s Center for Excellence in Marine Sciences, visit www.une.edu/research/msc
To apply, visit www.une.edu/admissions