Beach Goers dash in fear of a shark attack as a fin rises from the water surface close to shore, displayed at 50% of viewport width.
August 2021 by Terry Verduin


As the strange procession neared shore,
there was heard a frightened roar.
“That's no dolphin towing the craft.
Out of the water! Leave your raft!”
(Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up)

No Reunion Island sharks grace the shark attack reading fun of Little Ray & Shark Patch Things Up. This anti-bullying book for kids may help solve the Reunion Island shark problem.

Strong Summer Look

Global Warming? Increasingly warm water temperatures may be attracting fearsome carnivores to popular recreational ocean spots. Friendly-to-shark biologists make it known some sharks do pose threats to human beings.

Learn the facts? Summer reading encourages fun discussions, brings families together, strengthens knowledge and spurs creative activities. Learning about these mysterious, iconic fish need not be done at the beach.

Relentless Attacks? Little Ray's shark encounter takes kids and adults from fear to fascination. Few fish are as feared. No other fish enjoys a summer week of celebration. What put this power-house commander under assault?

Time Out

Sharks as Bullies? Popular culture portrays them as crazed eating-machine hazards in comics, films, games, literature, television shows and videos. Sports teams use this namesake for powerful image and notable victories.

Swim Little Fishy? Jumping into the water may attract inquisitive sharks. Most ocean-goers fear lethal bites from these potential killers. Comfortably on top of the food chain, these fish project no reciprocal sense of danger.

Ahead of the Curve? Sharks must be kept in sight. They circle and spin their bodies to approach from behind or below. Unaware victims risk getting sampled. Most sharks seem to reject the texture of bony humans as foodstuff.


Shark Summer? People are growing accustomed to shark-emblazoned flags, orders to exit the water, staying close to shore, monitoring radio surveillance from overhead pilots and moving to shark-free inland pools.

At Ease? Giant Manta Rays dwarf humans. Instead of teeth, they filter food particles with sucking parts. No count is available for giant oceanic manta rays remaining in the wild. Rampant gill plate harvest threatens them.

Spine-Chilling? The goblin shark, the demon catshark, the frilled shark and the humongous blunt nose six-gill shark are rarely-seen menaces of the deep. They deserve acknowledgment for their punishing combat capabilities.


Combat Zone? Predator has taken on bad meaning. The word defined beasts eating others for survival. It expanded to include human criminal intentions to cause bodily harm or other bad acts against innocent people or animals.

Connivers? The definition of a shark as carnivorous fish also grew to include deceptive swindlers, cheats and con artists. From deceiving others, it evolved into slang for skilled confidence operators in the practice of law.

Curiosity? Unless angered, a shark may approach a human more slowly and tentatively than it approaches known prey. They do not seem to fear people, but they are less likely to be familiar with the hunt or the taste experience.

Reunion Island Sharks

Troubled Waters? Encounters involve contact with sport equipment. People are untouched. Incidents often involve Great White Sharks, Tiger Sharks and Bull Sharks. They often are depicted as huge mouths with sharp teeth.

Line of Duty? Their teeth may be tougher and sharper, but their grip on people rarely is persistent. Reunion Island surfing sharks gained infamy for their frequent, vicious aggression. Economic fallout followed.

Inside Knowledge? Sharks in Reunion Island are rated. The Florida Museum of Natural History breaks down The Odds of a Shark Attack Compared to Other Risks. Isolated events make Shark Bait of all sharks.

Reunion Island Shark Problem

Endomorphin Ride? Surfers may get in the way of these taste testers. Sharks seldom put up with nonsense. They regularly dine on stingrays and barracudas. Objects, like boats and surfboards, don't seem to frighten them.

Surfing Lessons? Many parents prohibit their kids from taking lessons on boards in the water. Unsettled by scary shark potential, business liability and loss of business, surfing lessons may go away in some places.

Out of Your Depth? Splashing while paddling surf boards to surfing zones and falls into shark-infested waters invite shark problems. Fortunately, these bold animals of prey may not waste energy on troublesome catches.

About Face

Moving Beyond a Name? Animals named for places and people get stereotyped. Fanatics annihilate Reunion Island sharks and benign Adolf Hitler beetles. Few wild animals do surplus killing. Sacrifice is for survival.

Fired Up? The United States, South Africa and Australia top shark-problem charts. Florida Museum of Natural History at University of Florida publishes a Yearly Worldwide Shark Attack Summary. Reunion Island is listed.

Over Your Head? Hardy deep-water adventurers far from shore face danger. Little Ray's friend takes nips from objects. Without boards for protection, recreational swimmers invite problems with seemingly ever-present sharks.

Image Problem

Basic Instinct? Tourism suffers with incursions. Guards rescue swimmers and waders near shore. Safeguarding surfers in deep wave spots is hard. Swimming bans and signs, detection tools and expert spotters give warning.

Raft Shark Bait? Bites make headlines. Shark bait operations and games often feature rafts. Chomping through them is easy shark game play. Little Ray's beach-goers cast away clumsy rafts to dodge for beach safety.

Clean Slate? Most encounters end well. Millions of sharks die for the ten or so people they kill yearly. Mass shark killings for sport and fin trade threaten entire species of this family with extinction. People must change.

Way Out

Path Forward? Calmly leave the water or form a tight group. Hitting an advancing shark with an object or punching it in the eyes, gills or snout may deter further onslaught. Lacerations may result from sharkskin contact.

Feel Invincible? A child, who has never seen sharks, may feel no fear or danger. A child, who has seen a film or a picture of a shark-induced death or injury, may not want to go near the ocean. Adults may avoid hot-spots.

Shadows & Light? A nearby, dark shadow in the water hardly ever gets scrutiny. Viewers dash to safety, expecting a huge killer's fins to surface. Sharks have an inescapable presence on many beach-goers' minds.

Anti-Bullying Book for Children

Stripe Back? Arriving sharks can be seen from shore. Sightings allow beach-goers to exit the ocean. Little Ray and a shark work together to get stranded boaters safely back to shore. Natural enemies can coexist.

Directors: Cut! Problems with a few specimens get blown out of proportion. PNAS presents Human Development of the Ability to Learn from Bad News. One deadly shark attacks can lead to many revenge killings.

Tough Luck? Thrills can end poorly. Size and speed reign supreme in battles. Sharks are the world's largest predatory fish. Mass puts greater power behind their jaws. They can weigh ten times the weight of a person.

Shark Attack Reading Fun

Masters of Suspense? Shark attack fallout is not fun reading. It gives people good reasons to swim at guarded beaches and stay out of the water at dawn, dusk or night. It may be time to print Little Ray's books in French.

Lessons in Heroism? This site and the children's books feature stingrays, sharks, turtles and armadillos. The informative encounters and surprise endings align with elite strength, discipline and endurance.

Seeing without Harm? Readers freely venture across the big blue sea. They don't face any sun damage. There is no need to slather on UV ray sunscreen or wear protective clothing and glasses for book viewings.

Physical Solutions

Beyond the Pale? Nets offer low-cost control. Electric, acoustical and magnetic repellents may be ineffective. Shark exclusion barriers work in small areas. Scuba divers use protective cages and weapons.

Spotty Cell Service? Beach lifeguard shacks and bath house facilities in remote territories may keep emergency land lines. These facilitate calls for urgent medical treatment or to summon backup assistance.

Plant Signs? Toxic manchineel, or “death apple” trees and their fruit should carry warnings. Red tide is a common name for algal blooms, which kill fish, make seafood toxic and may make the air hard to breathe.

Law Enforcement

Police State? Officers in Massachusetts ban swimming off Cape Cod beaches. Unprecedented numbers of large sharks present potential hazards. Their bite can leave a wide imprint or result in loss of limbs.

Flag Hazards? Flags go up when tides, currents, and rip tides create drowning risks. Flags also warn humans of potential dangers from the presence of venomous or toxic animals in or around the water.

Sharktivity? Not-for-profit organizations and government officials from Cape Cod and South Shore towns collaborated to develop this app. It tracks local sightings and helps people co-exist peacefully with sharks.

Dialing Back

Study in Design? People seek adventure and equip for unfair advantage. Mega-sized rays and sharks may be safe. Adult sharks weigh from under one pound to many tons. Whale sharks, the world's largest fish, do not bite.

Filling Gaps? Researchers tag, monitor and report uplifting shark-related information and world-wide experiences. People still follow their instincts. They struggle against fears of threats from prowling sharks.

The Shift? No-kill drum-line trials are under way. The goal is to lure, capture, tag and move this predator to unpopulated areas. Previous drum lines were not monitored. Baited catches died when hooked in those traps.

Organizational Solutions

Aware? The AWSC is a registered not-for-profit organization. It supports innovative white shark research, improves public safety, and serves as a point-of-contact liaison for conservation activities.

Chill? AWSC stresses the rarity of attacks. It endeavors to raise awareness about these magnificent and misunderstood fish. Their interactive exhibits, videos, displays and virtual reality experiences promote conservation.

Watchlist? CITES protects wild flora and fauna. It calls for increased shark and ray policing. It holds World Wildlife Day for public education. Human-shark encounters are spurring governments and individuals to action.

Personal Solutions

PADI Open Water Diver? This writer earned certification through Lexington Dive Shop. She dove among carnivorous fish in waters of Mexico and the United States without incident. Swimmer's ear forced her to quit.

Whoa or Woah? Facts and team-building can change the woeful images and fierce reputations of sharks. Stingrays are perilous when someone grabs, blocks or steps on them. There are no excuses for predatory behaviors.

Power Play Transcript? The unpredictable blitz in the below video reads: “Join with the best and respect the rest. We never know how things will go.” Illustrations and ideas are from the ray and shark book. (34 seconds)