Last week's News
News article for the week of 11/6/05.
Shark Versus Whale
By, Grey Environment
The laws for traveling international waters used to be a lot simpler,
everyone stayed out of everyone else’s way and neither side bothered the
other enough to look back. Unless of course one of you were a pirate.
Now things have become more complex, increased shipping, crowded waters,
the incident involving a three hour tour, the bureaucracy and regulations
issued by every nation, organization and fan club has made navigation
the act of an accountant rather than an experienced sea salt.
Nothing illustrates this more than the recent law suite against a Mako
shark touring the South Seas issued by a Humpback whale. These two collided
after failing to make adequate signaling, the whale claims the shark is
Sharks everywhere are shocked, as the oceanic traffic codes clearly have
stated for the last sixty years that everyone, without exception is to
veer to the right (or starboard in naval terms).
Sharks have been especially diligent in following this rule in nonhunting
situations, owing to a distinct lack of popular support.
Indeed, some witnesses claim that the whale is at fault for failing to
swerve at all, instead continuing on its course at full speed in violation
of every regulation and even common courtesy. This view is not well received,
owing the relative popularity of whales over sharks.
This situation could easily have led to the collision described, with
the shark impacting on the whale’s left. The shark would have expected
her opposite number to help avoid the collision. Without this assistance
neither would have enough room to maneuver.
Regardless the whale is pressing its suit, most likely expecting the generally
poor reputations of sharks to be a boon in this case.
The worldwide sympathy towards whales, even though sharks pose them no
threat, “will likely tip the scales of justice in this instance”, legal
Sharks are considering protesting, especially if the trial goes against
them. Though any large gathering of sharks has historically gone bad irrelevant
Undeterred sharks refuse to bow to “whale egotism”.
Several more militant minded sharks are not waiting for a verdict before
calling for a campaign of violence. “For too long we have denied our nature
for nothing more than cheap PR,” said one shark spokesman. “We are the
top predators in the ocean, with a reputation for skill and lethality.
It is time that we wield this reputation with pride, for it is our nature,
rather than be shamed for simply being what we are.”
More moderate sharks have tried to play down these sentiments as the ravings
of a vocal minority. However studies of late show that most sharks resent
the negative perceptions of their kind due to nothing more than nature.
Adding to the controversy are reports that ex-IRA knee cappers have been
hired to expand the repertoire of shark skills against whales specifically.
When one kneecapper was asked how he could possibly make a difference
against creatures that lack knees he derided the idea, stating “They’re
mammals, they have to have knees somewhere, even if it’s under their beds”.
Whales have hardly helped matters, having suddenly found the need to lock
their beds in bank vaults. Some have even provoked the matter with statements
advocating mammal dominance over the lowly fish.