The story of tender affection between a fisherman and a white shark turns out to be fake
In 2006 the Internet community was blown up by a story about a fisherman and a great white shark. Though nearly ten years have passed the story is still popular and is posted on different web sites once in a while.
Here is the essence of this amazing story:
Arnold Pointer, an Australian fisherman, once set free a great white shark that had got stuck in a fishnet. Astonishingly as it may sound, the shark felt some kind of gratitude towards the man and started following him everywhere, scaring other fishes and thus preventing the man from doing his job. As the man said "it isn't so simple to get rid of a 17 ft creature that has deep affection for you". There are even a few pictures of the shark jumping out of the water and the man patting it.
The story is so quaint that many people are ready to believe it, but let's face the reality.
Australian people are not very fond of white sharks since they pose a threat to fishermen and ordinary people bathing in the sea. According to the recent surveys, 25% of Australians think it is necessary to protect all sea beaches with the help of special nets; 60% of people believe it's enough to protect only the most crowded beaches; and 15% are sure it's vitally important to exterminate all great white sharks near the Australian shores.
Australian government encourages fishermen to kill sharks and pays a certain amount of money for every killed shark. If a fisherman is lucky to kill a big shark, he is presented as a hero in local media. When journalists asked one of the Australian politicians whether the government was afraid that it could lead to the extinction of the species, he answered indifferently "It's just fish".
So, it's hardly possible that a professional Australian fisherman may decide to set free a great white shark and then to boast of the tender friendship.
What's more, the article about the shark first appeared in the French «Le magazine des voyages de pêche» on April the 1st. However, many internet sources paid no attention to the date (April Fools' Day) and started retelling the wonderful story.
But what about the photos? Actually, they have nothing to do with Australia and Mr. Pointer. They were taken near the South African shores by the marine biologists Michael Scholl and Thomas Peschak.
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