Sharks being radicalized by social media: NOAA

 

Shark attacks: radicalization coupled with climate change The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has suggested that the recent spate of shark attacks off U.S. beaches is linked to increasing radicalization of disaffected young sharks who are being “groomed” through underwater sonar messages by extremist elements taking advantages of outrage over mistreatment of sharks and other social grievances.

In the last three weeks, five serious shark attacks have left seven swimmers and surfers in North Carolina maimed or seriously injured. The number compares with two attacks in the same period last year.

Previously, oceanographers had attributed the uptick in attacks to unseasonably warm weather, but NOAA analysts specializing in aquatic terrorism say the real cause is a systematic program of radicalization being carried out by veteran killer sharks.

“These shark terror godfathers are from a generation that was radicalized after the release of the movie ‘Jaws,’ which, as they saw it, attacked shark culture and their unique way of life,” said Dr. Alphonse Spanner, an NOAA researcher based at the agency’s L.A. research facility. “They were portrayed as terrorists, and in effect it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. That generation is now dying out, and they are trying to make sure that a younger generation will emerge to carry on their underwater jihad against humanity.”

The extremists are able to leverage a number of factors in their campaign. Many young sharks have become marginalized in mainstream shark society as older sharks seek to cohabit with humans and take advantage of booming oceanside tourism projects and property development. Many analysts argue that these trends, exacerbated by global warming which is curbing sharks’ access to their normal feeding grounds, have led to a generation of bitter, disaffected young sharks who are living in poverty without any hope of gainful employment.

A favorite tactic of the extremists is to promote accounts of gory attacks through underwater SMS — sonar messaging system — to attract vulnerable adolescent sharks. Analysts believe that this tactic has led to a number of “copycat” attacks which appear to be the work of “lone-wolf” sharks, but which can easily be claimed by militant shark groups as their handiwork.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest, responding at the daily press briefing Monday morning to questions about the administration’s slow response to the attacks, told reporters: “The first time the president heard about these attacks was the same way you did, through press reports. While the president holds to the view that violence can never be justified, he has also repeatedly underlined that historical divisions between races, gender identification groups, and species have been a cause of long-running grievances, and that these underlying problems must be addressed.”

The shark terrorists have also been quick to exploit a number of killings of unarmed young sharks by fishermen and Coast Guard patrols. “Marty,” a militant shark spokes-shark who self-identifies as a walrus, told the Dandy Goat’s underwater mammalian militancy correspondent that the campaign of terror would continue as long as humans sought to deny sharks their human rights. “Shark lives matter! Fins up, don’t harpoon,’’ he added.