Wednesday, September 8, 2010

8ft Bull Shark found near Triathlon site

 My degree is in freshwater biology and I have seen some strange things show up in freshwater. This has included many saltwater creatures (especially in the St Johns Rivers).  I have heard of small sharks coming inland into the St Johns Rivers but I have never actually caught one.  "Overall, elasmobranchs [sharks] don't venture into freshwater. Some species do occasionally find their way up into the river, bull and tiger sharks among them, but they're casual visitors -- snowbirds -- not residents. (The River Return). Sharks in freshwater are not too surprising to me.  If its connected to the sea in any way creatures will find a way to swim up it, spawn, eat and chase triathletes.   (Shark image by © Shark Info / Doug Perrine)

Foot Shark Caught in Potomac River (NBC Washington)
Blog from DC Rainmaker (Nation’s Tri Athletes: Just ignore the 8’ Bull Sharks…)

Apparently this also happens in the Potomac River.  This happens to be pretty close to the upcoming DC triathlon event (Nation's Triathlon).   This is not the first time sharks have been caught in the Potomac River.  So MD News reports there have been nurse sharks, dusky sharks and bull sharks over the past several years (Shark presence in So. Md. reported Big fish part of local wildlife (So MD News))  One shark caught was over 10ft and weighed over 400lbs.

But do not worry there has never been a reported shark attack in the Potomac. Shark attacks are actually really rare (Shark Attack Statistics).  Only about 40 -50 annually in the US.

As triathletes we have far more worse things to worry about than sharks.  Lets take swimming for example.  There are over 3400 drownings in the US annually (CDC.Gov).  That's over 9 drownings a day in the US.  Cycling is far worse.  There were over 716 bike related deaths in 2008 and 52,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic in 2007 ( (Photo credit: Saturday Night Live)

 Here is what I found about running:
"I also stumbled on a study by the NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis on pedestrian injuries and fatalities from being hit by cars. The data was kind of old, but back in 2001, a pedestrian was injured every 7 minutes in the United States by a car. And a pedestrian was killed every 108 minutes. That kind of sucks. However, the bright side of the data (if it can be called that) is that almost 40% of all pedestrians killed had some alcohol in their blood stream, almost 2/3rds were male, and about half of them were killed on Friday, Saturday or Sunday at night. Translation: drinking and walking around at night, so probably not runners." (Joe English Running Advice and News)

And do not get me started about living in FL with the deadly amoeba (Naegleria fowleri)  According the the CDC the amoeba has only killed 23 people between 1995 and 2004 in all the United States.  I think you have far more things to worry about than the amoeba. (Image credit: CDC/ Dr. Govinda S. Visvesvara).

I'm off to go watch Jaws and Shark Week on Discovery. Have fun on your swim this weekend.

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