February 27th, 2008
08:50 PM ET

On the death of a man bitten by a shark in the Bahamas

Editor's note: Last weekend, diver Markus Groh died after being gnawed during a shark dive in Bahamian waters.  Rob Stewart is an photographer and documentary filmmaker who has vast experience with sharks.  He is a guest on Wednesday's 360° at 10p ET.

This is a tragedy that should be thought of as a terrible accident.  It's the first death in history from any shark diving tourism.

The shark that bit Markus Groh was biting at a box of fish very close to the diver, and when the sand was stirred up and the visibility decreased, the shark bit Markus' calf instead.

The shark didn't remove any flesh, and didn't come back for a secondary bite. That alone shows that the intention of the shark was not to eat him, it was to eat the fish that attracted the shark to the area.

Shark populations have dropped so dramatically that it's extremely difficult to find sharks underwater without bringing food into the water to attract them.

Hopefully, this incident will not further our fear of these important and threatened animals, and demonstrate that sharks are not predators of people.

Shark diving is still a safe and effective way of changing the public's view of sharks.

– Rob Stewart, Photographer/Documentary filmmaker

Filed under: Shark Attack
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