Plenty of surfers in Bali, especially beginners, live with the fear of having an encounter with a shark. And as with most overhyped news topics, media plays an enormous role in feeding it – no pun intended.
It is obvious. The ocean is the sharks’ home and territory. So, no, we do not own it. And like any other similar encounter, you risk the chance of being attacked if you enter someone else’s home. So the main idea here is what you can do to keep that risk at a minimum.
One of the popular approaches to avoiding shark attacks in Bali and Indonesia is to have the “it won’t happen to me” attitude. And there’s always the common comparison of “you’re more likely to be killed by a falling coconut than a shark.” While that seems like a bit of an urban myth, it turns out to be true! According to a few scientific studies, you’re actually ten times more likely to be killed by a coconut than killed by a shark. On average each year, falling coconuts take 150 lives while our shark friends take about 15 lives per year.
What many surfers in Bali need to understand is how the media works, and why they choose the topics they broadcast. Are you most likely to hear about a shark attack in Bali in the headlines? Or when a pro-surfer won a competition? Yes, the more dramatic, negative incident would get more media exposure and attention from the public.
If you’ve been following surf media, you may have asked yourself this question at some point in the past few years: “Do we have more sharks in the ocean now? Or just the media hype?”
You must understand that bad news is easily shared on social media networks, which leads to you hearing about it more. Would you share a post about an incident when a shark swam post a surfer? Years ago if there was a shark attack at the local beach in Bali, you would probably hear about it, eventually. Today, if there’s a shark attack on the other side of the globe, you can hear about it in an instant. So again, are there more angry, hungry sharks? Or is it because we are simply hearing about it more.
To put your mind at ease, Bali and Indonesia is nowhere near the list of top 20 shark infested waters. As a matter of fact, Indonesia fell at 41st place on the list of shark attacks in 2017.
Have you ever thought of learning how to surf in Bali, Indonesia? Why not check it out yourself?! Bali Monkey House – Surf Camp provides accomodation and surf packages for surfers of all levels and styles. For more information, feel free to browse the rest of your website or email us for a custom package at [email protected]