Shark-Bite Survivors Defend Their Attackers: ‘They Promised This Was the Last Time’

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Oh, hey, did you get those flowers I sent to your office? Photo: harmanusbackpackers' flickr

Unable to stop themselves from perpetuating the cycle of abuse, a group of shark-attack survivors petitioned the United Nations yesterday to protect the species that did them wrong. The shark-bite victims include Paul de Gelder, a 33-year-old Navy diver from Sydney who lost his right hand and right lower leg, as well as a surf photographer who lost a leg to a tiger shark and now surfs using a prosthetic leg. Industrial fishing has threatened 30 percent of shark and ray species with an estimated 73 million sharks killed each year for their fins, considered a delicacy in Asia. In most cases the sharks are finned alive, and then left to drown or bleed out. “If we want to have the ocean to enjoy, we need the sharks,” Debbie Salamone, a journalist who had her Achilles tendon chomped into by a shark. “They’re an important part of that ecosystem.” Oh, Debbie, don't you know there are species out there who only want to love you?

Shark Victims Rally Behind the Species [Green/NYT]