Julie Andersen, Director of the Shark Savers www.sharksavers.org, sent me this "Miami Herald" article today:
We are all very glad to see that the Bahamian government officials have kept their cool despite the misinformation and plain distortion of facts in the press that was fueled by self-styled shark experts such as Neal Watson and George Burgess.
Both gentlemen do not appear to have ever dived with tiger sharks or other 'dangerous' species, and certainly do not know the exact circumstances that led to the lamentable incident. Yet, their statements talking to the press smack of a specialist expertise they do not have. They are the know-it-all types media pros usually resort to not knowing better. I will not waste more words on Watson.
As to Burgess, who believes, and wants to make others believe, to be a "shark attack" expert, let me just quote an internationally renowned shark scientist:
"....... The study of 'shark attack' is an unscientific endeavor. This is because it is impossible with our state of technical knowledge to set up an experiment to test an hypothesis. Any statement as to causality is just mere speculation. This is a plain fact. The scientific method is not available to those who 'study' shark attack."
As much as Burgess wants to be recognized as an authority on "shark attacks", he is not more than a mere statistician who collects data on shark incidents. The conclusions he draws from his data collection are nothing but speculations as he simply cannot claim to do his research as director of the International Shark Attack File in a scientific manner.
Here is what Maris Kazmers had to say on the subject of being a "shark attack" expert:
"Assuming that being a scientist means applying the scientific method to problems/questions, how does one resolve the fact that virtually all shark attack information is anecdotal, that most shark attack information comes from unreliable sources, that even the identity of the shark involved is often in question, etc, etc?"