By John Maclean January 05, 2020 04:29:45A couple of weeks ago, a researcher on a conservation expedition to the Indian Ocean was attacked by a shark while diving off the coast of South Africa.
The shark was killed by a fisherman off the western coast of Australia, the BBC reports.
Its death sparked an online debate about the extent of the threat of sharks in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
It has now emerged that, although the shark was not killed in the dive, he died from a similar attack earlier this year in the Southern Ocean.
Dr Sarah O’Brien, a research marine biologist from the University of Tasmania, has told the BBC the attack was caused by a “sudden change in behaviour”.
“We have never seen such an attack before,” she said.
“This shark was quite aggressive and very aggressive in the water.
He was biting at the person diving off his boat and they were getting pretty close and the person pulled out the gun and shot him.”
Dr O’Briens research into sharks in Indian and Atlantic Oceans is the largest on-going research project in the world.
She said while there had been previous attacks off Australian shores, the current incident was a new one.
She said it was not clear if the attack occurred in the same location as the previous one.
Dr O.B. said the shark had not attacked anyone before, but that there had also been previous incidents in which people had jumped out of boats to escape sharks.
“We’ve never seen a shark attack on anyone before,” Dr O’Boord said.
“There are people out there who are just scared to death and that’s why we’re doing this research.”
In an email, Dr OBrien said the attack did not appear to be related to any shark culling.
“This was a sudden change in the shark behaviour which was not linked to any culling,” she wrote.
In a statement, the South African Department of Fisheries said it is “extremely concerned” about the attack and would be conducting a full investigation.
“The Department is committed to the protection of all life, and the safety of all persons on our waters,” the department said.
“We are confident in the safety and security of our waters, which we maintain are under the control of the South Australian Government.”