Updated: Aug 17
I decided to put this hypothesis to the test on a recent visit to Hawaii. You may have recently seen pictures of One Ocean Diving conservation company guides swimming alongside a humongous 20 foot great white shark. So naturally I got in contact with One Ocean Diving to get my feet wet.
Sharks generally don't want to harm humans and most reported attacks are cases of misidentification (people looking like seals). I looked on in horror as the West Australian government approved culls of great white sharks after a number of incidents. My opinion is that the ocean is their territory, and if we enter and get chomped on, that is our fault, not the shark's. But getting chomped is extremely unlikely. More people are killed by mosquitos in a day than by sharks in ONE HUNDRED years. Cows kill more people than sharks. Granted humans do more to piss off cows than they do to piss of sharks.
So to test the theory of shark amicability, I jumped on a boat and headed to the benthic slope where upwellings allow sharks to lazily catch currents, and have plenty of fish to snack on. Getting in the water with these apex predictors was a little daunting, but much easier after seeing our guide jump in and not get eaten. I can't put into words the awe and serenity of being approached by these 12 foot toothy sea dogs (Galapagos Sharks), who glide up curiously and elegantly to check us out. The Hammerhead shark was amusingly not so elegant, the location of their eyes meaning they have to comically plop on their side to look at us.
I can report that I was not eaten, nor where any of my company. One lady got a jellyfish sting and one colleague got a wack in the head from my flipper. No sharks were harmed.
Disclaimer: I do not encourage (or discourage) swimming with sharks. If you swim with sharks and get eaten, its not my fault. Please respect sharks and understand you are entering their home. Do not touch or feed sharks.