George H. Burgess

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George H. Burgess (December 25, 1949–) is an ichthyologist and fisheries biologist with the Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida. He is the former director of the International Shark Attack File and author/coauthor of numerous books and papers on sharks and other fish.


  • The Shark Attack File offers us an opportunity to not only, I suppose, help humanity at some level by trying to reduce the opportunities for shark and humans to get together and therefore saving some grief among humans, but equally importantly, it allows us to put it into perspective: shark attacks as a phenomenon are a fairly uncommon event. By contrast, our decimation of sharks and ray populations is going on largely unabated. It gives us a bully pulpit to talk about the real concern of the shark in the scientific world, which is the fate of the sharks.
  • We tend to forget that when we enter the sea, we’re entering a foreign environment. It’s not ours. We can’t breathe underwater. When we enter the sea, it’s a wilderness experience. In any wilderness experience, there are potential dangers to be involved in that environment. Luckily for us, the sea is a pretty benevolent place. Each year, millions of people enter the sea and come out unscratched and unscathed and oblivious to the notion that they’ve had a wilderness experience. But we all need to remember that, especially if we go in areas where large predators such as white shark live.

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